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Founders are an original set of American playing cards created by the Department of Design and printed by the US Playing Card Company.
Founders are an original set of American playing cards created by the Department of Design and printed by the US Playing Card Company.
1,138 backers pledged $37,092 to help bring this project to life.

We've landed on the moon !!!

One small step. One giant leap.


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    1. Joe Freund on

      Because he's a student... anyone get the feeling this started as a school project and he turned it into a Kickstarter to get money from people without intention of ever shipping? It's so well-done and with the evidence mounting I get the feeling that that might be the case here.

    2. Missing avatar

      Kevin M. on

      @Eric and @Jason: I got an email as well and submitted my mailing info. I'm not worried about giving that info because it's publicly available info and (in my case) is a mailbox. But anyone can find out your address so why not submit it, you know?

    3. Paul Graf on

      This is starting to seem like some odd social experiment.

    4. Eric Handler (@reldnahcire)

      Anybody else want a little more info before handing over an address?

    5. Jason Russell on

      I just got an e-mail to confirm my shipping address. So after all this drama, is the product shipping? Anyone else get the e-mail?

    6. Missing avatar

      aalh on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    7. Paul Graf on

      I must say that you have had a run of bad luck backing some playing card KS's. I have backed several and MOST delivered on time or before they were expected. I see that you backed Core, and they are currently looking for Timothy in my neck of the woods; and Persian Empire, which was rather fraudulent. I think the key here is that John hasn't even started working on producing the cards, as USPCC claims to have never heard of the guy. I think that calls for concern -- he should have been working with them long ago getting pricing and other information together. We have been having these discussions since the pledge drive and no matter what we say about the guy, he is never around to defend himself. As a matter of fact, people like you are quicker to defend him than he is himself.

    8. Craig Patchett on

      Holy crap...have you guys never backed a KS project before?! First, the promised delivery date for this project is July. It's still July. Second, I have yet to back a playing card project on KS (and I've backed a half dozen or so) that has delivered on time. Yes, more and less cryptic updates would be nice but there's certainly no reason to start going ballistic at this point.

    9. Missing avatar

      Kevin M. on

      I emailed Kickstarter's customer service about the project to see if there's anything they can do about it. At this point, though, I suspect there isn't. We'll see what happens.

    10. Missing avatar

      Matthew Miller on

      I asked the following as a follow up question:

      Thanks. Anything by the 'Department of Design' or anything called the Founders Cards? Appreciate it.

      Their response:

      Hello Matt,

      We do not have anything under those names.

      Unfortunately I believe that the Kickstarter project from John Slabyk was a scam.


      Consumer Relations

    11. Missing avatar

      Matthew Miller on

      @Robert I provided the name to give as much info as I thought I knew so that they didn't have to go hunting. My message was:


      I backed a kickstarter project to produce cards printed by your company. I am starting to this that is was a fraud and they have no plans to produce a deck of cards to deliver to the folks who backed their project. I was wondering if you could help. Can you tell me if you are currently producing a deck of playing cards that matches the following kickstarter campaign? Their claimed name is "The Department of Design" out of Washington D.C. I believe the person's name is John Slabyk.

      Any thing you can tell me would be appreciated.



    12. Missing avatar

      Robert Bargy on

      I hope he don't have anybody's Ccard number.

    13. Paul Graf on

      For someone like John, I think he is incapable of feeling shame or other emotions that make normal people think twice about what they have done or how they have treated others. I see people like him on the 5pm news and they are usually tearful that they got caught at something, but not remorseful for what they actually did. This guy decided to take the talent he has and use it unscrupulously. Can you imagine how much more he would have gained monetarily had he ran a legitimate campaign and had people hurry back in droves for those other decks he said he was going to print? Now, he cannot run a campaign here ever again. It's sad, really. And, I'm keeping my eye open on other crowd-funding sites just in case he tries this again.

    14. Missing avatar

      Robert Bargy on

      You should have asked them if they printed any decks of cards they called the Founders Playing Cards. Or for the, The department of Design. I don't think John Slabyk is the name of this guy anyway. If he is well known like that.

    15. Missing avatar

      Tim Faulkner on

      At this point, I neither want cards or a refund... I would like to see this man shamed. This update is a big FU to everyone. He's obviously an immature fool who has no idea how to complete a project. Don't post jokes, don't post "more to come"... Simply apologize, explain why you are completely incompetent, return our money, and close down this project. And make sure you never, never, never associate your name, the DoD brand, or your internet handle on a project that's on the web, because I will make sure whoever signs on with you in the future are aware that you are a fraud who's incapable of delivering... or even communicating.

    16. Missing avatar

      Matthew Miller on

      So I emailed the U.S. Playing Card Company over the weekend inquiring about this Kick Starter. Their response was:

      John Slabyk has never printed anything with our Custom Division.


      Consumer Relations

    17. Missing avatar

      Kevin M. on

      @Debbie, that's because Google Streetview doesn't have data for the actual location.

    18. Debbie on

      Actually Google street view shows a garage door with heavy graffiti.

    19. Missing avatar

      Robert Bargy on

      That address is probably a telephone booth.

    20. Missing avatar

      Kevin M. on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    21. Milo Gotszling on

      No shame in waiting another week, at least until August 1st (after the estimated delivery date), for an explanation. I doubt anyone would put as much work as they did into creating these cards from the illustrations to the symbolism and thought put into each suit, etc... only to have the project fall through the cracks. I'm really curious to know what "more to come..." means.

    22. Daniel Thomas Craig on

      I think the most important portion of the FAQ is the following...

      "Is a creator legally obligated to fulfill the promises of their project?

      Yes. Kickstarter's Terms of Use require creators to fulfill all rewards of their project or refund any backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill. (This is what creators see before they launch.) We crafted these terms to create a legal requirement for creators to follow through on their projects, and to give backers a recourse if they don't. We hope that backers will consider using this provision only in cases where they feel that a creator has not made a good faith effort to complete the project and fulfill."

    23. Ken Summers on

      My advice, Mr. Slabyk, would be to release a formal update as soon as possible to appease the masses, since it appears that the torches and pitchforks are quickly approaching on here. As the FAQs here on Kickstarter explicitly state:

      "If problems come up, creators are expected to post a project update (which is emailed to all backers) explaining the situation. Sharing the story, speed bumps and all, is crucial. Most backers support projects because they want to see something happen and they'd like to be a part of it. Creators who are honest and transparent will usually find backers to be understanding.

      It's not uncommon for things to take longer than expected. Sometimes the execution of the project proves more difficult than the creator had anticipated. If a creator is making a good faith effort to complete their project and is transparent about it, backers should do their best to be patient and understanding while demanding continued accountability from the creator."

    24. Missing avatar

      Matthew Miller on

      I just shot an email over the the US Playing Cards Company asking if they are actually producing these cards. I'm sure they won't give me any info, but it's worth a shot.

    25. Missing avatar

      Barry Miller

      Everyone, I think we got taken and the suckers are us. We're not suckers for backing a KS project, but for backing someone who writes this dribble for the company's bio:
      "The Department of Design & Semiotic Research is devoted to the cultivation of efficient communication through analysis & understanding of the systemic, cyclical and mercurial movement of information through complex systems and the emergent forces of function & form."

      I should've listened to the hairs on the back of my neck when I first read that, but figured, "Twenty three bucks? What the hell?" Now I suspect we're all part of a wierd social science experiment and our names are going to end up on someone's "SUCKA" list.

    26. Brandon Kersten on

      Alright, this has really gone too far. First, you give us spotty updates, then you apologize for the spotty updates and start an "update week" that lasts two days, and now, you're almost at the deadline for delivering our rewards and you post one highly cryptic update. What gives, guys?

    27. Lee Alley on

      Yes, it's true, we did land on the moon on July 20th, 1969. But since I am supporting you on playing cards how about an update on that?

    28. Missing avatar

      William Southerland on

      I actually have no issue with the delay if you would contribute it to a real reason. I sure most wouldn't mind the delay if again you would keep us informed. You have a ton of moving parts, coins, posters, frames for prints, and the cards themselves. I know for a fact how hard it can be to get one company to get you timely prints, revisions, clarifications, and a final copy. With that said you have never once said any issue has delayed what you thought was the final product timing. Add to that the packaging of all of this by someone who may or may not be used to filling odd orders (cards, prints, coins, etc..) on a moderate scale.

      To summarize we all are a part of an age where tag lines, hash tags, and quips are a part of our daily lives. When it comes to business though we want clear and concise communication. Please give us a realistic update with details and I'm sure most would be much happier with that.

    29. Kyle Krebs on

      Maybe he's hiding out on the moon now with all our fucking money

    30. Kyle Krebs on

      Are there any lawyers here with information on how we might sue this guy if ever he doesn't deliver our products?

    31. Adam Reynolds

      Cryptic remarks are not an update. Unless it was literal. In that case you obviously still have Internet and should give some sort of info

    32. Missing avatar

      Raymond L on

      I see you have taken the "government theme" to heart and adopted their vague, empty statements as well.

    33. Dont touch those squirrels nuts! on

      Dept of Design: I certainly appreciate concise, brief updates, but would you please elaborate on the latest update?
      Also keep in mind we all get tons of email, and one like this serves no purpose and is unappreciated.

    34. Kevin Chew on

      I cannot even begin to describe how blatantly insulting this is to every single backer of this project.

    35. Jill Mack on

      Are you on drugs? We don't hear Anything from you for a Full Month & this is what we get for an update? Do you realize how much you're screwing up? If you bail on this project & leave us empty handed, All We lose is a little $$ & irritation but YOU LOSE Big Time.

      You lose your honor & integrity which might not seem like much to you now because I'm guessing you're pretty young to act this imature & foolish. But, giving up your honor & integrity & dignity leaves you without Any Respect From Anyone. If You can't have self-respect, you have Nothing. It can change you whole future in a very negative way.

      You are obviously intelligent to have brought the project this far. Now step up & show Real Intelligence by being honest with us about what the hell is going on. Don't think for a minute that legal action is something that won't haunt your future. If more than a thousand people file a complaint with the right department, it could be devastating in your future because with all the technology today it's impossible to hide past indiscretions.

      I sure hope you give some Serious Thought to what you decide to do next. The Choice AND the ramifications are now Up To YOU. Make Good Choices ... Peace and Love ...

    36. Pierre R

      Yep...I know of an easy way to get the FBI involve here as this is clearly internet fraud which is a felony. The department of design is about to visit the department of correction

    37. Missing avatar

      Barry Miller

      Dear Dept of Design,

      Please listen to your backers by providing lucid communication that will be clearly understood and meaningful. Oh yeah... it should be clearly understood and meaningful to 95% of your backers, no matter their background or education. If you continue to communicate via cryptic phrases and wording which may be cute and clever to you, you will alienate most of your backers. No one wnats that to happen.

    38. Brys on

      Any bets on this being a repeat of the failed update week?

    39. Daver... !!!(⊙.⊙(☉o☉)⊙.⊙)!!!

      WTF does this mean? Get real.

    40. Missing avatar

      Joe Sosa on

      Yes more to come.... 1 Felony Grand Larceny and about 1137 counts of misdemeanor larceny. The law is about to get involved.

    41. Ian Pytlarz on

      As near as I can tell, you aren't even taking this seriously anymore. People gave you money, the least you could do is conduct yourself as a professional. I try to talk up kick starter as a great place to find cool projects and tell people it isn't risky and people like you make that really difficult.

      I just hope were at least going to get our product after all this...

    42. Daniel G. Cruz Jr. on

      Yeah! What Shawn said...

    43. Shawn Mancino on

      I regards to your comment......I hope it's big news.

    44. Shawn Mancino on

      No offense, but what the hell does that mean?

    45. The Department of Design Creator on

      More to come ...