Stage 2 of the Discourse Deck Design Contest (DDDC) has just begun and you can officially start submitting your designs here. Final entries have to be submitted before 1st July 2014. Sponsored by the Expert Playing Card Co. (EPCC), the winner will get their deck design printed by EPCC for sale and you will get three gross (432) of you decks... FREE!
So far, there has been one official entry... the Evil Deck by Italian graphic artist, Giovanni Meroni. We reached out to Giovanni and had a chat about his background, the inspiration & idea behind the Evil Deck and DDDC.
Can you tell us about yourself and what is your design background?
My name is Giovanni Meroni. I am 31 years old and I am a web art director, vector illustrator and graphic designer. I've been working in the graphic design industry since 19 years old. During the day, I design ecommerce websites in a big italian company as a senior art director. I love illustration and I usually work on my illustration project by night. I love to draw crazy characters in vector style. You can check out some of my works here.
This will be your first Playing Card deck. Why Playing Cards?
I love my web art director work. I used to design websites for big italian companies and now I'm working in the best ecommerce company in Italy. However, I missed doing something tangible, like a book, a poster... or even a deck of playing cards. To be honest, I've been searching for some printed medium with a lot of space for my crazy illustration. A deck of cards offer 54 cool canvas to fill, all related with a common context. Perfect!
We noticed the Evil deck on the DDDC. When did you first start thinking about entering the contest? What made you decide to take the plunge?
The DDDC is a great opportunity because it is a way to have a lot of decks without risking a penny, and my artwork alot of exposure. You probably noticed that I'm leaning towards EPCC to produce the deck, beacuse a lot of people suggested me to go down that path. The funny thing is, I discovered that DDDC was sponsored by EPCC after I asked them a quote for a 1,000 print run. As I would have produced my decks with them anyways, I thought that will be the best for my project to partecipate at the contest.
What is your inspiration behind the Evil Playing Cards and how did you come up with the idea?
The first reason: Evil is cool. As a child I was captivated by the villains even if some of them scare me to death. I think some good people are curious about "evil" things. The second reason: "Evil" mean a ton of monsters for me. I have fun drawing creatures, and because I had to draw 54 of them, I needed a theme that would be fun for me, otherwise I may get bored and leave the project because I don't have much patience and I often don't finish what I start.
How much time did you spend working on the deck?
I started this project in June last year. When I started, I just gathered all my unused characters, but I realized I can't use them to produce an original and organic deck. So, I started to draw. The first card was the queen of hearts. After the queen, I started with some numbers- the 7 of clubs, one of my favourites.
I drew one card a day throughout summer, mostly after work. By September, I wasn't too happy with the result and I stopped drawing them. During the Christmas holidays, I felt sad for my cards being buried without any use, and I decided to finish them. 2 months later, I managed to complete the deck, redrawing the ones I didn't like before.
I opened the site/socials/etc in February and I started getting feedbacks. People wasn't so passionate about the result: they said "cool", but the deck lack of uniformity and the court cards are less "powerful" than the numbers.
At first I was discouraged, but I decided to hang in there and re-draw almost every card, changing the themes: Hearts are evil passions, Diamonds is violence and only clubs and spades stayed "nature" and "magic". I finished the last one (King of Spades) some days ago. Now I'm happy of the result.
What are some of the 'Hidden Meaning' behind the playing cards?
When I posted the old Evil Deck on a forum, people tell me "Why the Jack of spades and hearts aren't one-eyed?" So, when I redesigned them, I put a patch on their eyes. The deck is inspired by a lot of fantasy monsters and myths, some of the Ancient Greece. I'm a big fan of the minotaur, hydra and harpies. The 7 of clubs have 7 cats and it's named "7 lives". In Italy we think cats have 7 lives instead 9. Probably Italy is more dangerous for them.
Finally, what are your favourite playing card decks?
The Federal 52, Requiem and the Borderline deck are really cool decks!
Thanks Giovanni and all the best! This looks like a fun deck.
Check out the Evil Deck's home page to find out more. If you have a deck design or an aspiring designer or artist, check out the DDDC. This is the kind of contest where you can win without actually being the winner, just from the exposure that your design receives. Also, you might get an indication of the responses for that Kickstarter project you've been thinking of, or perhaps you'll catch the attention of a design house that's interested in your work! Head on over to the Discouse and start your journey!