[Please note: Thank you *so much* for all your support! Because this project is so successfully funded;
- A 66 card deck with a foil-embellished box has been added to rewards
- The gilt-edged decks will now have foil-embellished boxes
- The standard deck is now made from a slightly thicker playing card board (340um)
- Each deck (regular, gilt-edged, 66-card deck) will now have its own box design
Any further changes will be to upgrade these 3 decks as much as is possible/practical.]
What would happen if, after thousands of years of evolution, moths developed cryptic patterns to camouflage themselves on human-made materials? Cryptic Cards is a year long project in which artist Immy Smith is painting moths camouflaged into playing card designs as one answer to this question! The paintings are nearing completion, and this Kickstarter will turn the Cryptic Card designs into a real deck of playing cards in homage to the beautiful and intriguing patterns of cryptic camouflage that have evolved in moths. (HD version of the story video here)
I’m Immy Smith, and I’m an interdisciplinary artist. I’m really interested in crypsis – that’s the ability of animals (and some plants) to avoid detection thanks to camouflage, mimicry, and other evolutionary strategies. Moths have evolved patterns that blend in with many natural backgrounds, including bark, lichen, and dead leaves. I started to wonder whether in thousands of years, we’ll find them hiding on human-made objects; on advertising posters, newspapers, or discarded packets.
I painted moths camouflaged on printed pages, tickets… and playing cards! I shared moths I’d painted on playing cards via social media. Before long the idea of making the Cryptic Cards deck emerged. Since May 2015 I’ve painted one design a week, and friends on Twitter and Tumblr have helped choose which cards and moths I painted each week. Timelapse videos of the cards being painted have also been shared via YouTube. You can find out more about the project right from its beginnings here, and using the hashtag #CrypticCards on Twitter and Tumblr.
Images have been hand-painted in acryl gouache on Bristol card, using a standard poker playing card template. The designs are then digitised and overlaid onto printer's templates to ensure they fit both physically and aesthetically onto each card. High-resolution images will be used to produce a soft-cover A5 booklet containing the card designs. The painting of the 56 designs (52 cards, 2 jokers, back of card design, & custom tuck box) is now 75% complete, so I'm starting the crowdfunding to bring the deck to life!
The budget for this project reflects the cost of all printing and shipping for a minimum of 100 decks of cards and 75 artwork booklets. Other reward products will be printed 'on demand' and the cost is reflected in each reward. If more than the target amount is raised, more decks will be produced, to a maximum of 750 decks of cards, and 250 artwork booklets (limited edition).
Several test prints on both print-quality paper and real playing cards have been carried out, in an iterative process of ensuring painted designs look their best reproduced on printed cards. I'm satisfied that, working with the printer, we have a great quality product. Studio work continues to paint the final few designs, with completion planned for early June 2016. I'm confident that the project will be completed, and produce beautiful playing cards.
It’s time to bring the Cryptic Cards to life. Help me to make this unique deck of beautiful playing cards a reality!
Risks and challenges
The printer who will produce the card decks was identified early on in the project, and we have tested the printing on art prints and real playing cards. A further print test will be carried out before the final print run commences. The printer for the soft-cover booklets has also been chosen and samples examined. Both printers are based local to me (in the UK) with an eye on supporting small businesses, ensuring quality, and reducing project 'art miles'. This also makes it easier to contact the printers in person and tackle any problems occurring during printing.
I believe in making art affordable and accessible to all. I've aimed to tier the products in this project to as wide a range of budgets as possible. I've taken measures with the help of the printers to ensure we can deliver a high quality deck, including agreeing quality control and replacement of any items containing print errors. Hand-painted high value items will be produced using the same paints as the card designs to ensure consistency, and shipped with insurance.
The paintings for the deck are still being completed, and in setting the delivery date for the decks, I have taken into account possible delays in my painting schedule due to any unforeseen circumstances - ill-health, accident, or a painting being eaten by one of my cats for example. The paintings are due to be completed at the beginning of June, and completion of printing is expected in July. Setting a ship date for printed materials of August, and for hand-painted high value rewards of September, allows me a time margin for tackling any issues in completing the artwork, and any problems emerging in the final test print of the deck and booklet, which will be carried out as soon as the painting is complete. With 42 of 56 designs completed, 75% of the artwork is ready, so I'm as confident as I can be that the project will be completed on time. In the event of any huge problem with print quality, or really unexpected disaster happening at the point of print (e.g. the printer's workshop being destroyed by a meteorite) I have identified two alternative printers, and tested printing with each of them. My preferred printers are nice though and obviously I'm hoping nothing bad does happen!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)