The Aquila Playing Cards is a collaboration between Three of Clubs and Kardify Projects. This meticulously designed playing cards is inspired by the Garuda Wisnu Kencana in Bali, Indonesia. This large mythical bird with eagle-like features has been featured in many cultural and religious mythologies, and has become a cultural symbol in Bali and Java.
This custom deck of playing cards is designed by Indonesian graphic artist Ade Suryana and will be printed by the Legends Playing Card Company (LPCC). In between preparing for our Kickstarter project, I had a quick chat with Ade about his design background, the inspiration behind Aquila, LPCC and his thoughts on Kickstarter.
Can you tell us about yourself, Three of Clubs and what is your design background?
My name is Ade Suryana. I was born in Tomohon, North Sulawesi of Indonesia. I love drawing and painting since the age of 5. I always get support from my parents and frequently attend the drawing competition (and of course I won some of them, haha). I was introduced into playing card by my uncle since I was 7 years old. We live in different town, he visit me once a week on Sunday and everytime he came, we always play a game with playing card. I remember when I was in elementary school, I love to make a small size of playing card and sell it to my friend at school. I use markers to draw the indices and pips and made the tuckcase from cardboard.
I moved to Yogyakarta, Central Java of Indonesia at 2004 when I attend to college to study IT. Talk about my design background, I have never attend formal college for design. I learned about graphic design from my brother. He is an illustrator and graphic designer and also my teacher in design. At the moment, I’m a freelance graphic designer for 4 years based in Yogyakarta, mostly designed logo for business and individuals. Back in 2013, I won a small contest of VJose Playing Cards at August 2013, later on September 2013 I collaborate with my friend Joao Pereira to submit my design and we won Bicycle Club 808 Contest Design-A-Deck-Rematch.
I’ve been collecting modern playing cards for 3 years and enjoyed the art of playing cards. Being in a playing cards community, I met two people this past year that have the same passion and vision, later we formed. Three of Clubs- myself as a designer, Akmal Luthfi (Magicican, Photographer, Video Editor) and Krisnapati Bayu (IT Professional, Content Creator , Deception Artist). We’re based in Indonesia. This is the first time we’ve been working together for a playing card project. We have one vision to spread our culture into playing cards and also create high quality playing card that could be accepted, enjoyed and used by playing cards enthusiast such as magicians, cardists and collectors.
What is your inspiration behind Aquila Playing Cards? How did you come up with the idea?
The idea of the deck itself came from Akmal Luthfi when we’re been talking about playing cards. Back in 2009 I visited Garuda Wisnu Kencana in Bali, so I think this will be a great idea to spread our culture into playing card. Later I start to build a concept design based on his idea. Garuda also described as a myth in our culture, so we create a concept of “The Myth” into a Marking System based on Krinapati Bayu idea which will be featured in The Standard Edition of AQUILA.
How much time did you spend working on the deck?
Couldn’t really say exactly how much time I spend on this deck. If I'm counting it's probably three months from the first line I drawed on this deck. I started the first rough design concept at January 2014, and spend 8-10 hours a day, most at night to designing and tweaking.
If funded, this will be the first Kickstarter project printed by Legends Playing Card Company. How did you come to this decision to use LPCC and were there any challenges when you approached them?
Legends Playing Card Company is known for their breakthroughs in quality and card handling. Legends #852 sold out the bulk of its inaugural print run of 11,000 decks in days, and are highly coveted among collectors, magicians, and poker players for the “glass-like” edges, durability, and printing precision. This was followed by a close partnership with The Expert Playing Card Company and CARC to create the Exquisite decks, and working together to innovate and create exciting new projects.
Well, after some research I found that LPCC could fulfill what we need for Aquila deck project, particularity in the areas of card stock, finishing and handling. The other thing that really impressed me is the consistency of the card borders, which are perfectly centered even with a thin border under 3mm.
As an artist, working with LPCC was extremely smooth and fast from the first time I submitted the artwork through to the final approval. The guidance from Lawrence Sullivan was really detailed and the communication was excellent. Being able to collaborate with Lawrence Sullivan from LPCC was such a great experience.
What are a few of your favorite reward levels and why?
I’ve to say my favorite reward level is the Limited Collector Set and Mixed Dual. As a collector for myself, mostly I would buy 2 decks, 1 to be opened and 1 for displayed. And the collector box is nice item for displayed.
Playing card projects on Kickstarter has grown exponentially over the past few years? What are yout thoughts?
Kickstarter has become a great platform for artists and other creators. I have seen a lot of playing cards projects on Kickstarter and I think it is mutually beneficial for both creators and backers to create and enjoy the art of playing cards. Although there are several funded projects that failed to delivered because they set goals that are too low and can not cover the cost of production and delivery. For me as a creator, "PLAN" is the most important thing and ensure the artwork has been approved by the manufacturer before launching a project. It will save your time in a production phase when the project is funded. I have seen a few projects of playing cards that have not been approved by the manufacturer when they launched a project, and ended up with a few design changes, even the worst there are a few projects that can not be manufactured by the same manufacturer that has been promised in the campaign.
With that being said, there are always the greatest, the good, the bad and the worst playing cards projects that I’ve seen on Kickstarter. Backers are more selective, and the decision to bring a worthed project is in the creators hand.
Finally, what are your three favorite playing cards?
+ Monarch from Theory11: I love the linework design and the tuckcase. Classy and elegant.
+ Exquisite by EPCC & LPCC: This deck of playing cards represent a breakthrough in quality and card handling. The consistency of the card borders which are perfectly centered really impressed me, aside from the top notch of the card stock and finishing.
+ Federal 52 Series by Jackson Robinson: The art detail that has been put on this deck are amazing. I would describe the deck with two words : Playing cART :)
Aquila will be available in two editions: Standard and Limited Edition (LE). Both decks are completely unique and 100% customised. The LE deck is limited to 1,500 and features an embossed tuck, custom deal and gold foil. These beautiful deck will be printed by LPCC at the highest quality stock with Legends 'Diamond Finish'. Pledge starts from $12.
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