Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 13, 2013.

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A deck of playing cards featuring traditional Northwest Coast Native American art! Designed in Juneau, Alaska. Printed by USPCC!

Native Art Playing Cards 

The oldest surviving artifact of Northwest Coast Native design is seen on a piece of wood from over 2000 years ago.  We (Northwest Coast Indigenous people) have been developing and exploring this artform for centuries. I chose to feature this style of design (called formline) on modern day playing cards.  

I made these cards to represent our living art of the Northwest coast: its adaptability, resilience, and quality. They represent the flexibility of our art to adapt to new terrain, and the modern presence of traditional formline art.

These cards will be distributed through my personal business: Trickster Company.  I started Trickster Co. with the same goals as this deck of cards: to represent authentic, Native art in contemporary and vivid ways. 

Artist's Proof (close to, but not the actual product itself).
Artist's Proof (close to, but not the actual product itself).
Mock up of next stretch goal!
Mock up of next stretch goal!

Northwest Coast Art Design

The study of formline design is rigorous.  A constant balance of positive and negative space. I was fortunate to grow up surrounded by the art, and to be raised with great inspiration and great teachers.  My aunts and uncles, my parents and siblings - they all continuously exposed me to an abundant amount of art, and provided me many opportunities and critiques. I thank them all for their love and support.

These cards feature customary Tlingit (a Northwest Coast tribe) art, with a nod to some design traditions of playing cards.  They will be made by the U.S. Playing Card Company to capture the quality and style that makes a deck of cards enjoyable to handle. The colors are traditional Tlingit colors, but use the red is closer to the one traditionally found on playing cards. Designs also feature characteristic details such as the suicide/assassinated King, the one-eyed Jack, etc.

This project turned out to be a great test of my formline design abilities.  The repetition of creating the human figure in so many distinct ways forced me to explore the options presented by the form.  I am proud of the designs that were created and hope you enjoy them.

Process so far: Draw, vectorize, proof. Next: Print!
Process so far: Draw, vectorize, proof. Next: Print!

Each face card was hand-drawn using traditional Northwest Coast formline design, vectorized line-by-line in Adobe Illustrator, and will be printed on Bicycle grade paper by the United States Playing Card Company. 

I have spent 3-5 hours each night after my day job since January studying playing cards, then hand-drawing formline versions inspired by each card.  I then scanned them into my laptop and hand-vectorized each design to ensure that the lines would be true to formline rules when printed. Click here to view all the designs up close!

I need your support! 

Getting a run of cards printed at USPCC requires a minimum order of 2,500 cards. That's a big order!  But, with your support, we can make this deck happen together.

Rewards!

Let me give you cool stuff! Card decks, t-shirts, prints, artist's proofs, skateboards, and gambling sticks.

The Deck (artist's proof pics):

Box Art
Box Art
Card Back
Card Back
Clubs
Clubs
Diamonds
Diamonds
Spades
Spades
Hearts!
Hearts!
Joker/Trickster Cards
Joker/Trickster Cards
Ace of Spades
Ace of Spades

UPDATE2:

Update to one of the Joker/Trickster Cards
Update to one of the Joker/Trickster Cards

Update4:

Aces Redesigned!
Aces Redesigned!

Card Print:

If you choose a reward including the card print you will get to choose any face card, the ace of spades, or the back of the deck to receive an 8"x10" signed, limited edition giclée print. To see designs up close please visit my website here

Card Print (Choose any face card, the Ace of Spades, or the card back). (P.S. #Sunzilla!)
Card Print (Choose any face card, the Ace of Spades, or the card back). (P.S. #Sunzilla!)

Brick Boxes:

This custom-designed brick box holds 12 decks of cards and converts into an aesthetic display box.

Ace of Spades T-Shirts:

Choose a black tee or a white tee, size youth large up to 3xl.

Gambling Sticks (50):

Handmade gambling sticks and deer hide bag with abalone button (Note: Each set will be unique.)
Handmade gambling sticks and deer hide bag with abalone button (Note: Each set will be unique.)

“Games of chance have long been popular on the Northwest Coast. Several different types of games were played, including; hand and stick games involving an opponent guessing where a specially marked stick, disc or bone was located. These games were played by men for very high stakes. Counters were used to keep score. It was believed supernatural powers could affect the outcome of a game, therefore ritual preparations for games were important. Hand games were introduced to the northern areas from around the south, where they remain popular today.” -University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology

These handmade, hand-painted sticks have been designed to be potentially used as poker chips.  1 mark equals 5, 2 marks equals 25, 3 marks equals 50, and 4 marks equals 100. The carrying case is hand-sewn, made of deer hide and abalone.

Trickster Skateboard:

Trickster Co. original formline art skateboard in Bentwood Box design.  (Available in sizes 7.75, 8.00, or 8.25.)
Trickster Co. original formline art skateboard in Bentwood Box design. (Available in sizes 7.75, 8.00, or 8.25.)

Hand-Painted Trickster Skateboard:

note: each hand-painted deck is unique
note: each hand-painted deck is unique

ADD-ONS!

Trickster Raven T-Shirt
Trickster Raven T-Shirt

STRETCH GOALS!!

$9,000 [ACCOMPLISHED] - I will design the remaining ace cards (hearts, spades, and clubs) in the same formline fashion as the Ace of Spades!

$12,000 [ACCOMPLISHED] - A second deck of cards with Tlingit language instead of numerals will become available!

Tlingit Language Cards
Tlingit Language Cards

...more soon...

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The major challenge in this project is a slightly longer than average shipping time to and from Alaska. Thank you for your patience!

FAQ

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Funding period

- (23 days)