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Calaveras — Playing cards inspired by the Day of the Dead's video poster
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Thank you to all my backers!! You guys have been incredible! If you missed the funding period, you can pre-order at deadonpaper.com Read more

Johnstown, OH Design
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on July 22, 2013.

Thank you to all my backers!! You guys have been incredible! If you missed the funding period, you can pre-order at deadonpaper.com

Johnstown, OH Design
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About this project

Thank you backers!!! The Calaveras KS project has come to an end, but the project lives on at http://deadonpaper.com/

Check deadonpaper.com or https://www.facebook.com/deadonpaper tonight (7/22/2013) @8pm (EST) for a special announcement to thank all of you wonderful backers!

Since some collectors let me know they really wanted to have wrapped decks, I've decided to release unbranded Calaveras that will be delivered wrapped, and will not be a limited edition. The Bicycle® Calaveras will still be limited, hand numbered, and delivered unwrapped. The cost for the unbranded decks is the same as branded add-ons, $11 domestic, $13 int.—just click on "Manage your Pledge" to the right and increase the amount to cover the additional decks you'd like. After the funding period you'll be able to specify how many of each branded or unbranded you want so no need to worry about the admin stuff yet. Also, if you were wondering, the only difference is to the tuck case, not the cards themselves. I'm really excited to offer these to you!!

I've always loved the artwork and pageantry of el Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). There's a whimsy, and a seriousness to it that underscores the common bond we all share—and the art is just amazing. So I'm creating a deck of playing cards that's true in spirit and design to the roots of the Day of the Dead.

With that aim, I'm harkening back to the work of José Posada—a famous Mexican printmaker who brought this art form widespread attention. He worked at the time of the Mexican Revolution and his Calaveras really caught on—surviving to this day as iconic expressions of the holiday, the social views he held, and the times he lived through. These all-original cards and their illustrations are designed to celebrate Posada's work without being limited by it. I'm paying homage, but I'm bringing my own voice to them.

The United States Playing Card Company will be printing these cards and has agreed to let me use the Bicycle® logo from their original 1895 "Expert Back" deck. I believe this is the first time this logo will be used on a Kickstarter deck, and I'm so thrilled to be able to offer these cards to you.

I'm also doing something I think is kind of unique—I'm offering original limited edition woodcut prints. I'm really excited about these prints—check below for more about them.

If you back this project, I'm hoping you'll give me your feedback as I release designs over the next 40 days so we can create these cards and the woodcut prints together. Help me make this project a reality by backing me as we bring Calaveras to life!

The designs.

> View all the card designs

The woodcut prints.

A lot of the rewards are for woodcut prints, there's a reason. While the cards are turning out great, the prints are breathtaking. The details in these woodcut prints is unbelievable. And unlike Giclée prints (archival inkjet printing) or commercial offset printing, I'm hand pulling woodblock prints to maintain the character that only this process can bring. Each print will be a one of a kind member of a limited edition, signed and numbered, on fine artist-grade archival paper. All prints will be one color prints—raw umber. This is a unique chance to own gallery-worthy art (IMO). I'm really excited to bring this reward to you, I haven't seen anything like it with any other playing card project.

Frame not included with prints
Frame not included with prints

Add-ons.

I've got some great add-ons to offer, and it's a snap to do. Just use the guide below to decide what you'd like, add the dollar amount to your pledge—and you're done. You'll be able to specify the rewards you want, the color(s), size(s), quant., etc., after the funding period for this project has closed. No need to worry about the admin stuff, it'll all be handled on the tail-end of the project.

Sticker pack: $3 for 3 stickers

These are high quality, full color, all-vinyl stickers! Shipping is included for all backers, domestic and international. Sizes are one 3" x 5", one 3" square, and one 3" circle, with the designs as shown. Check 'em out:

Antique Bronze Finish Coin: $8 per coin 

This is a 39mm, 10 gauge, two-sided coin. This coin weighs about 1 oz., the same as 5 quarters. Add as many as you'd like by simply adding $8 per coin. Shipping is included—international backers, there's no need to pay extra shipping. Please note there may be some tweaks to the final design, but this is darn close considering they aren't minted yet.

Stretch goals.

150% Funded - Custom seal for tuck boxes — REACHED!
200% Funded - Custom seal with metallic inks for tuck boxes—REACHED!!!
250% Funded - Numbered edition tuck boxes (unwrapped decks)—REACHED!!!
300% Funded - Elaborate Ace designs for all suits—REACHED!
500% Funded - Copper foil embossing for tuck boxes

Very special thanks to my friends at Smudgeline Studios for helping me pull together the video:

Risks and challenges

This is my first Kickstarter project, so I've done a LOT of research. I feel like I understand how to make a project like this work. There's always the risk of something unforeseen, so to avoid that as much as possible, I've researched the costs, logistics, shipping, fulfillment, etc. Got to tell you, I'm really well prepared and looking forward to making this happen!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Every royal will be unique.

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  • In the video I tried to mention the process, but it goes by pretty quick. So here's my process: I start out creating the artwork using scratchboard. Once that's locked down, I scan it, vectorize it, and finalize the source art for printing the cards. For the prints, I take those final card designs and have woodblocks laser etched from the source files. Those laser etched woodblocks are what I'll be inking and hand pulling the prints from.

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  • Extra decks, coins, and t-shirts are a snap to add-on. All you have to do is decide which add-ons you'd like, then click on "Manage Your Pledge" at the top of the page. Kickstarter will prompt you to enter a dollar amount—just combine the extra cost of your add-ons with your pledge tier amount (plus shipping), and your done. Specifics like colors, sizes, etc. will be handled on the tail-end of the project once the funding period is over. Easy-peasy.

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  • Yes, I will make card back designs available when I send out the survey at the end of the funding period. For now feel free to select one of the woodblock reward levels and you'll be able to pick which designs you would like prints when surveys go out.

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  • Because it's seriously really, really expensive. A big part of it is that I don't have a way to offer one int. shipping rate to, say, Canada and a different rate to Bangladesh. KS doesn't calculate rates separately.

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  • At the end of the funding period I'll send out a survey. It'll ask for your shipping info and you'll also be able to indicate which print(s), designs, sizes, colors, etc. you would like.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    13 backers

    Stay looped in...
    Receive updates and help contribute to this project.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $11 or more

    200 backers All gone!

    EARLY BACKER SPECIAL!

    1 deck of Calaveras Playing Cards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    455 backers

    1 deck of Calaveras Playing Cards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    405 backers

    2 decks of Calaveras Playing Cards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $36 or more

    107 backers

    3 decks of Calaveras Playing Cards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $55 or more

    63 backers

    5 decks of Calaveras Playing Cards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    25 backers

    1 deck + 1 uncut sheet (signed).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $65 or more

    93 backers

    1 deck + 1 woodcut print. Your choice of ace of spades or any royal card design. Prints are approximately 12" x 14" on fine artist grade paper. All prints are hand pulled, signed, and numbered editions.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $85 or more

    23 backers

    1 deck + 1 uncut sheet (signed) + 1 woodcut print. Your choice of ace of spades or any royal card design. Prints are approximately 12" x 14" on fine artist grade paper. All prints are hand pulled, signed, and numbered editions.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $110 or more

    14 backers

    1 deck + 2 woodcut prints. Your choice of ace of spades and/or any royal card design(s). Prints are approximately 12" x 14" on fine artist grade paper. All prints are hand pulled, signed, and numbered editions.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $120 or more

    17 backers

    1 Calaveras Brick (12 decks)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    7 backers

    1 deck + 3 woodcut prints. Your choice of ace of spades and/or any royal card designs. Prints are approximately 12" x 14" on fine artist grade paper. All prints are hand pulled, signed, and numbered editions.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $175 or more

    11 backers

    1 deck + 4 woodcut prints. Your choice of ace of spades and/or any royal card designs. Prints are approximately 12" x 14" on fine artist grade paper. All prints are hand pulled, signed, and numbered editions.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    8 backers

    1 deck + 5 woodcut prints. Your choice of ace of spades and/or any royal card designs. Prints are approximately 12" x 14" on fine artist grade paper. All prints are hand pulled, signed, and numbered editions.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    6 backers

    MEGA BACKER! 12 decks, 1 each of every woodcut print design (13 total). Prints are approximately 12" x 14" on fine artist grade paper. All prints are hand pulled, signed, and numbered editions. International backers - the shipping is on me.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (11 left of 12)

    ULTIMATE BACKER!! 12 decks, 1 each of every woodcut print design (13 total, you get one of the first 13 prints in each edition, early numbers in editions are generally considered to be the most valuable), plus one signed scratch board drawing that I used to create Calaveras—the scratch board original source art is first-come, first-serve as there are only 12 royals. International backers—the shipping is on me.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (40 days)