About this project
In the 1970s, James Lovelock’s groundbreaking Gaia Hypothesis proposed that our planet could be viewed as a single, self-regulating system, in which animals shape their environment and vice versa. His metaphor forever changed how we see our world, with every plant and animal forming a vital, interlocking piece of the whole.
Now UK illustrator Ben Sinclair celebrates these interconnections with his magnificent and colorful GAIA Playing Cards, packed with exquisite animal sketches and “biome-themed” suits. Slip through the thick growth of the rainforest, sleep beneath the stars of the savanna, or shiver in the tundra as you watch a snow leopard… This is your world. The world of GAIA.
- 54 poker sized cards (52 cards + 2 jokers)
- Embossed, 360° fully panoramic tuck box
- Printed by the United States Playing Card Company
- Premium, embossed card finish for smooth handling
- 100% custom, hand drawn artwork on every card illustrated by Ben Sinclair
- Limited edition of 2,500 decks. Never to be printed again.
UPDATE 5/24: ANNOUNCING THE 'MOONLIGHT EDITION'
// 500 Sealed Decks Available Exclusively on Kickstarter
Nighttime has set upon GAIA, casting a comforting moonlight glow across the landscape. A revised tuck featuring a dazzling night time sky with embossed elements. The card backs for the Moonlight Edition have been specially re-colored and cast in shades of blue in this limited version. The Aces have been updated with some subtle and fitting changes and 2 new Jokers make an appearance in this special edition. The face card updates are viewable to backers here.
2,500 will be produced but only 500 will be sealed and numbered for our Kickstarter backers.
UPDATE 5/30: ANNOUNCING BRANDED BRICK BOXES
// Pledge for 6 or more decks and your cards will come in a branded GAIA box to store them in
Pledging for 6 or more decks will get you a sturdy branded box to hold them in. The brick boxes contain a panoramic wrap-around scene taken from the tuck boxes themselves. Encasing this natural scene is a colorful hand-drawn border. All 4 pips decorate the back. The top folds open to display your GAIA decks.
Brick box reward guide:
6 DECKS or 6 DECKS (3 MOONLIGHT EDITIONS):
Your decks will come with 1 compact brick box
12 DECKS or 12 DECKS (6 MOONLIGHT EDITIONS):
Your decks will come with 1 large brick box 1
8 DECKS (8 MOONLIGHT EDITIONS):
Your decks will come with 1 compact brick box and 1 large brick box
24 DECKS and 24 DECKS (12 MOONLIGHT EDITIONS):
Your decks will come with 2 large brick boxes
THE ENTIRE COLLECTION:
Your decks will come with 2 large brick boxes
GAIA comes in a custom, embossed tuck box. The front features a panorama of a mighty stag surveying his alpine home. The image wraps around to the back, which portrays a parallel view of an African landscape with two elephants strolling below.
The foreground elements are embossed to give depth and create a truly special look.
Just like our planet, the court cards of the GAIA deck are divided by biome—the plants and animals found in a certain climate.
Each ace is customized with art to match its biome, and the number cards feature exquisite patterns within their pips. The deck is rounded out by two unique animated chimpanzee Jokers.
The back design includes organic, earthy colors with a pattern meant to convey life. The earthy colors contrast the bright colors from the rest of the deck. The intricate pattern mimics the design inside the pips and borders around the court cards to tie the deck together nicely.
The back design produces a beautiful fan!
Illustrated in Vivid Detail
The artwork within each card was painstakingly crafted with intense detail by Ben Sinclair and took hundreds of hours to bring to life and a year to prepare for release in its final format.
You’ve braved weeks of rain, and vegetation as thick as any you’ve ever seen. You’ve braved insects, disease, and poisonous snakes. You’ve lain awake in your tent listening to the low, angry growl of a leopard slinking through the trees. But now, as you reach your goal, as you glimpse the majestic silverback gorilla loping to rejoin his troop below, you know that every single step has been worth it...
The rainforest (Clubs) is populated by a colorful toucan Jack, a cunning panther Queen, and a roaring gorilla King.
The pride relaxes beneath the shade of an acacia, the lion and his mates watching the grasslands around them with a lazy eye. Nearby, a single cub frolics, and his mother gives him a gentle cuff to keep him from bothering the adults. They can smell kudu on the wind, but their bellies are already full from the morning’s hunt, and not one of them rises from their rest. They are the monarchs of this land, and today, their kingdom is at peace.
A placid water buffalo Jack, elephant Queen, and powerful lion King prowl the savanna (Hearts).
The air is thinner here in the mountains, and the sun takes on an intensity you’ve never before seen. You feel you could touch the roof of the world. Each night, you listen to the owls hooting, and the occasional howls of a nearby wolf pack, even if so far they've eluded your sight by day. But each evening, you can watch the deer slip up to the edge of this mountain lake to drink, unafraid of your watching eyes. There may not be another human for miles, but as long as you are by this lake, you will never be alone.
Spades are represented by the animals of towering alpine climates: wolves (Jack), owls (Queen), and a magnificent stag (King).
You’ve come to see it before it’s gone. Bundled in your parka, the ice shelf stretches out before you, gleaming in the chilly afternoon light. Where the ice meets the water, a pod of walruses lie stretched out, basking in the sun’s rays while a solitary polar bear walks in the distance.
Diamonds showcase the wildlife of the tundra: a walrus (Jack), a snow leopard (Queen), and an enormous polar bear (King).
Unsealed Moonlight Edition Deck
(Add $12 each)
For new pledges that missed out on the sealed & numbered version or those who have numbered decks that they don't want to open, we are offering the unsealed version of the Moonlight Edition deck as an add-on. A lot of you have reserved custom deck numbers and this is a great option if you want to leave them sealed.
(Add $16 each)
Add a collectible coin to go with your GAIA deck set. Raised antique silver metal with recessed, sandblasted antique silver metal and 3D embossing on the elephant and surrounding leaves. Measures 40mm.
Limited Edition Individual Prints
Signed and Numbered by Ben Sinclair
(Add $20 each or $50 for a set of 3)
All of the cards in the GAIA deck are beautifully hand-drawn by Ben Sinclair. Large and in vivid detail, these original high-quality prints are perfect for framing on your wall. Each print will be hand signed and numbered in the lower right corner by Ben Sinclair himself.
Only 25 of each court card artwork will be produced. Each print measures 11 x 17 inches.
When pledging for this add-on please send us a message to reserve your print.
CHOOSE FROM THESE SIGNED PRINTS:
The amount remaining for each limited print is shown below. Make sure to message us after pledging to reserve yours.
Jack of Clubs (Toucan) - 11 AVAILABLE
Queen of Clubs (Panther) - 7 AVAILABLE
King of Clubs (Gorilla) - 5 AVAILABLE
$20 each or own the entire Clubs set for $50
Jack of Hearts (Water Buffalo) - 7 AVAILABLE
Queen of Hearts (Elephant) - 8 AVAILABLE
King of Hearts (Lion) - 7 AVAILABLE
$20 each or own the entire Hearts set for $50
Jack of Spades (Wolf) - 10 AVAILABLE
Queen of Spades (Owl) - 9 AVAILABLE
King of Spades (Stag) - 5 AVAILABLE
$20 each or own the entire Spades set for $50
Jack of Diamonds (Walrus) - 13 AVAILABLE
Queen of Diamonds (Snow Leopard) - 6 AVAILABLE
King of Diamonds (Polar Bear) - 11 AVAILABLE
$20 each or own the entire Diamonds set for $50
Want the entire collection? Own the entire set of all 12 signed prints by adding $150 to your pledge
(Add $25 each)
Own a collectible uncut sheet of the full GAIA deck. Measures approximately 20 inches by 23.5 inches. Can be framed on your wall. Ships separately in a cardboard tube.
When surveys are sent out you can specify if you would like an uncut sheet of the regular edition of the Moonlight edition cards.
STRETCH GOAL #2 UNLOCKED: 2 Bonus Cards
2 bonus cards will be included with the GAIA deck and GAIA Moonlight Edition deck. When the 2 cards are combined they form a beautiful illustration of 3 majestic eagles soaring high above the landscape
STRETCH GOAL #1 UNLOCKED: Tuck Box Interior Art
The interiors of the GAIA deck and GAIA Moonlight Edition deck will each have unique tuck box interiors
Ben Sinclair | Designer - 17 year old illustrator based in the UK with a passion for design. A love for illustrating wildlife, nature and people in both traditional and digital mediums, whilst also taking interest in animation and film. Instagram profile
Forge Arts | Project manager - A subsidiary of RarePlayingCards.com, based in the United States and formed in 2016, Forge Arts collaborates with artists to bring imaginative, high quality playing cards to life.
RarePlayingCards.com | Fulfillment - All rewards will be fulfilled and shipped with care by RPC.
Risks and challenges
The decks will be printed by the United States Playing Card Company.
Fulfillment will be handled by RarePlayingCards.com which is based out of Florida in the United States. RarePlayingCards.com has years of experience quickly shipping decks all over the world for 11,000+ customers. All rewards will be shipped by USPS.
Design and artwork of the final product is subject to minor improvements and refinements.
We have received a physical proof of the tuck box from USPCC to test the design and it looks great. The card artwork has also been confirmed by USPCC.
Your rewards will be sent to you as soon as production is complete and they are in our hands, which we expect to be in September of 2017.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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