The world needs more orange playing cards, I told myself one day.
Sometime later, I said it again.
What a stupid premise.
I went for it. I dug into the design, striving to create something that would look awesome in the hands of a cardist, would still give every affordance to the magician, and would just be fun to look at in card games that don't suck. Something that struck a balance between minimal and extravagant. Something eye-catching, but in competition with its own white space. Something complicated, but held down in a monochrome colorway.
And it came together, loosely inspired by the likes of Atelier, Orbit, and black holes (though apparently, really white dwarfs). The design took shape, looking, to my mind, like a sort of fractal black hole:
Spicy. It looks so very red now 😅
I carried that back design onto the front of the cards and, inspired by the likes of Fulton's Clip Joint, I turned one pip on each number card into a "black hole" with spaghettified, fractal debris being sucked into it, each one of them unique. I changed the red cards to match the burnt orange I selected for the back:
I designed my ace of spades and moved on the the joker. Inspired by the graffiti stencil art of Banksy and company, and pulling in the idea of the original Bicycle brand jokers, I smashed those concepts together with an iconic E.T. reference:
You'll forgive me for adoring that joker. 😍
Next came the court cards. I updated their red to orange and decided I would turn their heads into black holes:
It was at this point that the First Image of a Black Hole was introduced to the world!
Credit: EHT Collaboration
What an opportunity!
I adapted the design, sampling the colors of the image to produce a general re-creation on the backs, and I tightened the border after feedback from my chosen printer, USPCC:
From here I used those same color samples to update the court cards. I drifted away from the black hole head idea, but since the black hole image is Creative Commons, I decided to incorporate it into the court design and replace their eyes:
Then I did something stupid
I refused to do a black version. It felt too on-the-nose. This was the version I wanted. I launched a Kickstarter and thanks to that inflexibility, sky-high pricing, and zero awareness, I failed.
While all of that was happening, I went ahead and designed the black version! It's all pretty much what you'd expect, but instead of using a pure white to replace the black, I used the brightest color from the black hole image.
I tried Kickstarting both decks simultaneously. I can't recommend it. 😂😭😂 Certainly not without a successful campaign under your belt first. But then again, if you have a less-polarizing design, maybe you can pull it off!
Third time's the charm though...
So here we are. Singularity: Black is coming very soon! I am forever grateful to the people who backed it and helped make it a reality.
Thanks for reading
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