Hello, there. We're the team behind Digital Abstracts, online magazine about art, design, products and trends.
We have always been inspired by the outstanding works of illustrators and designers featured on our resource, so we came up with an idea to mix their differences in a single project.
The idea of the project is to create a unique deck of poker playing cards where each card is individually designed by a different international artist.
The project is called Playing Arts and each year we invite 55 designers and illustrators from all over the world to collaborate with us. Their particular styles and techniques convert a simple deck of cards in eclectic pocket-sized art gallery that can be shuffled and played.
This year we are releasing two new decks at once and turning the project into the global design event
Both decks will have the same concept (one deck = 55 artists), but slightly different approach:
1. Edition Three: we've carefully selected and invited awesome designers and illustrators to create the artworks for this deck.
2. Special Edition: we've launched an international design contest and we invite you to join the jury team and help us to define 55 outstanding works that will form this deck.
1. Edition Three deck
To design cards for this deck we've carefully selected and invited 55 designers and illustrators from 27 different countries. Joshua Davis, Justin Maller, Mike Perry, Alessandro Pautasso, Bradley GMUNK Munkowitz and Jonny Wan are just a handful of the artists involved.
Introducing first cards:
- 10 of Spades by Bratislav Milenkovic (Serbia)
- Jack of Spades by Grzegorz Domaradzki (Poland)
- 7 of Diamonds by Rafael Mayani (Mexico)
"I was looking to find the way to make a fun twist on 10 spades card, by incorporating the original element (ten spades) into the artwork – so I thought of having a fun looking guy with spades for his braces." — Bratislav Milenkovic
- 4 of Clubs by Victor Vergara (Colombia)
- King of Hearts by Denis Zilber (Israel)
- 2 of Clubs by Riccardo Guasco (Italy)
- Backside by Juan Díaz-Faes (Spain)
- Ace of Clubs by Omaraqil (Pakistan)
- 5 of Hearts by Bram Vanhaeren (Belgium)
"In a previous personal project I have been looking into a way to make letters sexy again. Why not apply this to numbers as well. The idea is to mislead the viewer into seeing a regular number, but at a second glare notice an appealing woman looking at the person. Maybe her look succeeds in getting the person attention and distract the player into a new dimension." — Bram Vanhaeren
And more cards showed up:
Each day you will find a new card and a small interview with the author on the project’s website and once a week we will post an update here on Kickstarter.
"Take care of your ability to observe and wonder, so you can admire the world and its beauty. There is so much more to discover, so much more to learn and there are many details that delight." — Victor Vergara
2. Special Edition deck
We've launched an international design contest that will give a chance to artists from all over the world to show off their skills and share their vision of the particular playing card. 55 best artworks will form this Special Edition deck.
More than 550 artists entered this contest and have already started working on their cards. At the end of this Kickstarter campaign all artworks will be showcased on Playing Arts website opened for voting. Most voted and carefully selected artworks will pass to the next round where a panel of judges made up of Playing Arts staff and YOU, Kickstarter backers, will choose the winners of the contest.
Day to day we will reveal sketches, "work in process" shots and some early cards in our social networks and through weekly Kickstarter updates. You can also track the progress following #PlayingArtsContest hashtag in Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
By choosing reward that includes Special Edition deck, you will get the pack of this beautiful cards and also join the jury team and help us to select 55 outstanding works that will form this deck.
Each deck will include 52 illustrated custom playing cards and jokers plus an info card that reveals the names of all the designers and illustrators who have contributed to corresponding edition.
The decks will be beautifully and professionally printed in USA by the US Playing Card Company on legendary Bicycle® paper, the highest quality playing card stock available. Cards will be coated with the Air Cushion Finish for the smoothest feel.
To bring this two new decks to life we need your support
Your support is our motivation to move forward and turn our ideas into reality. Get personally involved in the creative process by selecting your reward.
We would also really appreciate if you can help us spread the word and share Playing Arts project for everyone to enjoy. We value each and every single tweet, Facebook post and Instagram shot.
Since we launched in 2012, we've received countless support from our friends, partners, customers, backers, media resources, card- and design community members.
You can add additional products to your pledge. The details:
To include this add-ons, simply add corresponding price to your pledge. We will send out a survey at the end of the campaign to find out exactly what you want your pledged money to go towards.
- 8 May — 26 June: The contestants are working on their cards. Meanwhile, the project is live on Kickstarter.
- 27 June — Mid July*: Public voting. All entries will be showcased on Playing Arts website opened for voting. Most voted and carefully selected artworks will pass to the next round.
- Mid July — End July*: Judging. A panel of judges made up of Playing Arts staff and YOU, Kickstarter backers, will choose the winners of the contest.
- August*: Announcement of the winners.
- August — November*: Printing the cards.
- November*: Shipping rewards to US backers.
- January**: Shipping rewards to backers from the rest of the world.
* Exact dates to be confirmed and updated, stay tuned.
** Rewards to Non-US backers can be shipped earlier (see "Shipping" section below).
Since the cards will be printed in USA, rewards to US backers will be shipped via our partners from Texas right after the cards being printed.
The rewards for backers from the rest of the world will be shipped from Europe a bit later (see "Timeline" section above).
NON-US BACKERS: Please add €9 to your pledge if you want your reward to be shipped from USA in November (optional).
Press about the project
For the last couple of years Playing Arts project was featured in 100+ blogs and magazines, from Esquire to Advanced Photoshop, both online and print.
“The talented artists involved were invited to create the world’s most unique deck of playing cards. The end result is an amazing beautiful, eclectic and unique collector’s cards.” — Globe's Finest
“Playing Arts is a 54 card deck where every card is accompanied with incredible art, from the lowly two of clubs all the way to the ace of spades and of course those dastardly jokers.” — Trend Hunter
“Playing Arts is a vibrant, varied and contemporary, an ideal Christmas gift for every poker player in the world.” — Gods of Art
“If you’d like to add an artistic touch to your next Poker game, you’ll absolutely love these playing cards by Digital Abstracts.” — Holy Cool
“The deck looks simply stunning. Featuring photography, digital illustration, hand drawn designs and typography, each card is created with the artist’s individual style.” — Design Distilled
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Risks and challenges
We have a lot of experience releasing the decks, but making a physical product is always a challenge and implies various risks, especially when there are so many people involved.
The main challenge for us is to meet the timeline. We've carefully planned each step according to our previous experience, but yet there is a chance that something may take more time than it was planned. We'll be working hard not to let this happen, keep you informed about the process and deliver your rewards as planned.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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