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These violent delights have violent ends.
314 backers pledged $10,190 to help bring this project to life.

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This is Montague vs Capulet, a stunning new Bicycle branded playing card deck, inspired by William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. This is a fully custom deck with an elaborate card back and 2 different tuck cases. 

The cards are being printed with metallic ink and printed on the upgraded Bee Card Stock by the United States Playing Card Company.

Lord and Lady Capulet
Lord and Lady Capulet

Every detail of this exquisite playing card deck has been thought out with immaculate detail. Characters have been put in all the right places. An original, striking masterpiece needed to be created to match the passion of the play itself.

Belgian Virginie Carquin is an absolutely amazing artist, and she illustrated the portraits for this new fine art deck with lots of details that you won't want to miss.

Artist Virginie Carquin
Artist Virginie Carquin

Every portrait is new and original, and time was spent characterizing each person so they are represented in their portrayal by Shakespeare’s carefully crafted personas. We’re very excited to present to you the finished creation.

I’ll try to take you down the path of the thought processes behind the character placement.

 Romeo and Juliet could only be paired with Shakespeare in the Hearts suit. With Romeo and Juliet paired as King and Queen, then Shakespeare makes a cameo as the Jack of Hearts.

The Hearts:  William, Juliet, and Romeo
The Hearts: William, Juliet, and Romeo
  • Jack of HeartsShakespeare.
  • Queen of HeartsJuliet Capulet – Daughter of the Capulets, sworn enemies to the Montagues.
  • King of HeartsRomeo Montague – Fights for Juliet.
  • Ace of HeartsRomeo and Juliet – Together.

If Romeo and Juliet were the Hearts, then I also knew the Montagues and Capulets, as much as they hated each other, should be opposite suits. We wanted to match the Capulets with the Clubs, so the Diamonds naturally had to be Montagues, as the full black suit (Clubs) are opposite of the thinner red suit (Diamonds).

The Aces will look amazing with metallic ink printing.
The Aces will look amazing with metallic ink printing.

Capulets = Clubs. I wanted the Montagues and Capulets to both be represented well with dignified, ferocious animals to represent their family crests, as much as these families despised each other. Capulets = Clubs = Cats = Tybalt, the Prince of Cats. The Lion is the King of felines, so the family crest for the Capulets on the Ace of Clubs became the Lion. Representing the Capulet family are Tybalt, Lady Capulet, and Lord Capulet.

Clubs = Capulet, The Lion
Clubs = Capulet, The Lion
  • Jack of ClubsTybalt – He’s a vicious fighter, known as the Prince of Cats.
  • Queen of ClubsLady Capulet – Cruel, superior, and rich. You may notice a slight scar from a past violent attack from Lord Capulet.
  • King of ClubsLord Capulet – Violent, proud, quick tempered, and rich. Hates the Montagues.
  • Ace of ClubsThe Capulet Crest – The Lion. You'll see the Lion coming out of the broader club outline, which will look amazing printed in metallic ink by USPCC.

Montagues = Diamonds. Opposite the Clubs, we have Diamonds. Felines and Canines are naturally against each other, so the King of the Canines became the Wolf for the Montague family crest. (Opposite of the Capulet’s Lion, as the King of Cats). The “W” for Wolf is also the mirror reflection in the water for the “M” in Montague. The Montague family crest is portrayed on the Ace of Diamonds. Representing the Diamonds are Mercutio (Romeo’s best friend), Lady Montague, and Lord Montague.

Diamonds = Montague, The Wolf
Diamonds = Montague, The Wolf
  • Jack of DiamondsMercutio - Friend of the Montagues. Brash, loud, mercurial, and optimistic.
  • Queen of DiamondsLady Montague – Sad, rich, and feuding with the Capulets. Dies of grief learning of her son's fate.
  • King of Diamonds Lord Montague – Proud and rich, but holds a grudge against Lord Capulet.
  • Ace of DiamondsThe Montague Crest – The Wolf.
 The Spades. The remaining main characters are game changers in their own rights, including the Apothecary, the Nurse, and Friar Lawrence. They are all poor, but similarly had good intentions to a degree, even though they have their faults.
Spades: Apothecary, Nurse, Friar Lawrence
Spades: Apothecary, Nurse, Friar Lawrence
  • Jack of SpadesApothecary – Knows he shouldn’t sell poison, but has to for money.
  • Queen of Spades - Nurse to Capulets - Some of the comedic relief in the play.
  • King of Spades - Friar Lawrence - Honorable, with good intentions, but naive.
  • Ace of SpadesShakespeare – The Bard.

Amazing card artist Nam Tibon illustrated the Bicycle branded tuck. Nam is known for his brilliant work on previous decks, including the Tally-Ho British Monarchy deck.

The Bicycle branded tuck case
The Bicycle branded tuck case

This deck is nothing if it’s not fine art. The detail you’ll find here could be on the walls of a gallery. And the cards are printed by the United States Playing Card Company (USPCC), the same company who makes the world’s finest Bicycle, Bee, and Tally-Ho playing cards. The USPCC has been around since 1885.

Romeo and Juliet (King and Queen of Hearts) are portrayed moments before their tragic end. Juliet has the dagger, while Romeo has the poison bought from the Apothecary. The Jokers, side by side, also paint the scene of Romeo entering the tomb of the Capulet family, where Juliet rests.

Romeo and Juliet in the tomb
Romeo and Juliet in the tomb

Bicycle Romeo and Juliet Playing Card Deck Features:

  • Printed by The United States Playing Card Company
  • Bicycle® branded
  • Inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
  • Illustrated by renowned Belgian artist Virginie Carquin
  • 100% completely custom designed playing cards, including art, pips, royalty, backs, jokers, and everything else that you can put into a card deck
  • Custom Tuck Cases
  • 56 cards including a full 52 card deck, plus 2 Jokers, a Character Outline card, and a double-backed card
  • Normal poker size deck of playing cards
  • Upgraded Bee card stock from USPCC
  • Printed with metallic inks
The Montague vs Capulet tuck case
The Montague vs Capulet tuck case

DESIGN NOTES

There are almost too many details to point out on the deck.

  • The Montagues and Capulets are different - even opposites - in almost every way. In line with "Two households, both alike in dignity..." they are both dignified and powerful, but at war with each other.
  • How are they different? From the suits - of the full black Clubs of the Capulets to the hard lined red Diamond of the Montagues.
  • The Montagues have the canine Wolf as their Crest, while the Capulets have the feline Lion as their Crest.
  • Even the family colors (Red and Green) are opposites on the color spectrum. The Montagues have Red as their color, which can be seen in the suit color (Diamonds) and in their clothing. The Capulets are shown in black (Clubs), with a darker green in their clothing, so look close.
  • The families' portraits also sit oppositely. The Capulets (Clubs) face inward, while the Montagues (Diamonds) face outward. The respective Lord and Lady from opposing families also face in opposite directions.
  • The Jack of Spades and Jack of Hearts are traditionally known as the "one-eyed Jacks", so you can notice how only one eye is prominent in these portraits, going so far as to give the Apothecary (The Jack of Spades) an eye patch.
  • The King of Hearts is typically known as the "Suicide King", and is portrayed here as Romeo.
The intricate card back. You'll see the Montague's Wolf family crest, the Capulet's Lion family crest, Poison from the Apothecary, and more.
The intricate card back. You'll see the Montague's Wolf family crest, the Capulet's Lion family crest, Poison from the Apothecary, and more.

If you would like to add additional playing card decks or Uncut Sheets to your pledge, you can do that. Just add an additional $11 per deck (inside USA) and $13 per deck (International shipping) for each extra card deck you would like, and once the campaign is over, you will detail with us in the Survey what your extra pledge is for. Here is the chart below.

Add-ons for playing card decks and uncut sheets
Add-ons for playing card decks and uncut sheets

Thank you for backing this project now. With your backing, these cards will be printed, and we will send you however many decks you pledge for. All of my previous playing card decks have shipped earlier than planned. The cards are custom designed to be very playable - the pips are perfect sizes. I wanted new, bold suit designs that would be just a bit larger than standard so that the cards can be used in real games. With upgraded Bee card stock, custom portraits, an intricate card back design, and metallic ink by USPCC, these will be amazing new cards.

 Thanks for becoming a backer of these cards!

They are being launched in conjunction with some significant dates in mind: William Shakespeare was born April 23, 1564, and died April 23, 1616, exactly 400 years ago.

Risks and challenges

All of my projects have shipped ahead of time. Those of you who help these projects are the reason I create them!

This Bicycle Romeo and Juliet deck is being manufactured and printed by The United States Playing Card Company (USPCC) and the artwork is already approved, so there should be close to zero delays or risks with this project. I don't foresee any production delays, but if they happen, I will keep everyone updated and work through it. I will put all of my efforts into fulfilling everything in a timely fashion.

As always, I'm happy to answer any questions you have. It's my highest priority to make fantastic cards and to deliver them to you as quickly as possible.

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    Pledge $9 or more About $9

    One Romeo and Juliet playing card deck, Bicycle branded.

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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    2 Romeo and Juliet playing card decks.

    One Bicycle branded deck, and one Montague vs Capulet deck (red tuck case).

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    Pledge $34 or more About $34

    4 Romeo and Juliet playing card decks.

    2 Bicycle branded decks, and 2 Montague vs Capulet decks (red tuck case).

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    Pledge $48 or more About $48

    6 Romeo and Juliet playing card decks.

    3 Bicycle branded decks, and 3 Montague vs Capulet decks (red tuck case).

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    Pledge $88 or more About $88

    12 decks (one brick) of Romeo and Juliet playing cards, your choice of any combination of Bicycle branded and Montague vs Capulet tucks.

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    Pledge $96 or more About $96

    12 decks (one brick) of Romeo and Juliet playing cards, your choice of any combination of Bicycle branded and Montague vs Capulet tucks.

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Funding period

- (29 days)