The tuck and back designs are clean and precise, consisting of illusional line patterns and geometric shapes. This contrasting design methodology gives the deck a very unique overall look & feel and is sure to catch a few eyes.
Just before the launch of Flesh & Bones on Deckstarter, we managed to have a quick chat with Chris Biron about Dual Originals, getting on Deckstarter, and of course the inspiration behind Flesh & Bones.
Can you tell us about Dual Originals and what is your design background?
Dual Originals consists of myself (Chris Biron) and my partner in crime, Marylou Faure. We're both hands on people and love to create unique products with a personal touch. Marylou is an illustrator who works with some really great clients bringing a whole range of weird and wonderful ideas to life through her artwork. On the other hand, I’m a digital designer and spend my days crafting websites, products and branding for forward thinking people. We both have a real passion for art and design and have brought our skills together to create our new identity, Dual Originals.
Flesh & Bones will be your first playing card deck. Why Deckstarter and what made you decide to take the plunge?
Our debut deck of cards actually kind of happened by chance. We like to keep our creative juices flowing and are always working on side projects outside of the office. We wanted to work on something that we had never done before which triggered us to explore a new medium, playing cards. At that time, Deckstarter didn’t exist and we didn’t have the cash to fund the deck by ourselves. We explored the idea of using Kickstarter to get the financial backing but we have absolutely no experience in handling orders, packaging them and distributing them all over the world if we were successfully funded.
We had basically given up on the idea that our cards would ever be professionally printed and were ready to drop the project all together. Then, out of the blue, I was contacted by an awesome dude, amazing magician and now a good friend, Chris Ramsay. He had seen our deck design on Instagram, fallen in love with it and wanted to help us make the deck a reality! He then put us through to his friends, the Buck twins who had a great new idea up their sleeve. Dan and Dave wanted to partner up and have our cards debut on their amazing new platform, Deckstarter, which we were obviously thrilled about and dived straight in.
What is your inspiration behind Flesh & Bones? How did you come up with the idea?
Marylou and I collect a lot of art and are always looking everywhere for inspiration. We’re both fascinated by mythology, especially the creatures involved in the stories and thought that it would make an awesome idea to illustrate them onto a deck of cards. I’m sure a lot of people won’t realise this, but each suit in the deck is actually based on a different theme. This theme then determines which creatures are illustrated on the court cards. For example, the diamonds theme is water and the court cards contain imagery of a Kraken, a Mermaid and a Hydra. There’s a lot more to this deck than what first meets the eye and you need to study them to find all the little details that we put in.
From the teaser pictures, I really like the clean tuck and unique court designs! What role did you play in the art direction?
The great thing about our partnership as Dual Originals is that our artistic skills go hand in hand. Marylou dreamt up and illustrated the amazingly detailed creatures on the court cards while I created the custom pips, card layouts, back and tuck box designs. We have our separate strengths and weaknesses and therefore collaborate on everything we do and always critique and challenge each others work in order to create the best designs that we possible can.
A long time! As it was a personal project, there was no pressure to hit a deadline. We wanted the deck to be the best that it could, so didn’t try to rush anything. We actually started it over a year ago now and have been fine tuning it ever since. As for the process, Marylou would start by illustrating the design by hand with a pen and paper. This would often take a while as she would need to think what the character should look like and bring them to life straight from her imagination. Usually after a few attempts (she’s quite self critical) she would be happy with it and would then proceed to take a photo of the illustration to import onto the computer. She would then trace her original drawing in photoshop using a graphic tablet and pen to keep the artwork feeling organic even though it is digitalised. Once that was complete it would be handed over to me to create the layout for the card. I would then process the artwork and add the pips and any extra details needed to complete the card.
Do you have anything you’d like to share with aspiring artists and designers who would like to get their playing card designs on Deckstarter?
Make your deck stand out. Find an idea that you love and put all your skills into making it as great as you can and just never give up. We have really had our highs and lows with this project to the point where we were about to let it go. Never do that. Continuously improve yourself and your designs by practising and never be afraid to take inspiration from others, it’s a great way to get the best out of your own work; everything’s a remix.
It would have to be the Misc Goods Co 1st edition. The attention to detail on them is just insane and it’s actually the deck that gave us the idea to create one ourselves.
Thanks Chris and all the best! If you like what you’ve read here and want to support Flesh & Bones you can find it on Deckstarter here.
Flesh & Bones will be printed by USPCC and pledge starts from $12. There are multiple add-ons available such as t-shirts, and uncut sheets (extremely limited!).
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