The School of Cardistry deck was created in conjunction with School of Cardistry, New Deck Order's (NDO) popular YouTube channel with free Cardistry tutorials for absolute beginners. Created by NDO with experienced Singaporean designer Marcus Lim from SVNTY, the School of Cardistry deck was designed to have a classic and timeless feel, with a contemporary touch.
The designs are completely hand-illustrated. The back design is inspired by traditional playing card backs, featuring Cardistry moves on top of intricate details. The face cards takes on a modern look, inspired by traditional court cards. It was designed to accentuate spinning flourishes, flowing movements, as well as large, multi-card displays.
On New Years Eve, we managed to have a chat with Jaspas Deck, co-founder of NDO about the School of Cardistry, the idea behind the deck, the design process and feedback & support from the cardistry community.
2014 was a fantastic year for NDO! Memorable CoSEA tour, awesome DVD and lecture notes and that CoSEA deck! Can you tell us quickly about School of Cardistry and how it came about?
Thanks for you kind words! The School of Cardistry is our solution to every beginner Cardists' biggest question.
"What do I learn first?"
We designed a basic structure of Youtube videos that basically help our viewers find something on their skill level provides them a wide variety of moves to learn. This keeps our viewers motivated and makes it fun to learn Cardistry.
The School of Cardistry deck is your second self-funded deck of cards. When did you first start thinking about the deck and where did you get the idea from?
It has always been on my mind. Playing cards, particularly in Asian countries have a negative stigma attached to it. When people see playing cards, they think of gamblers. it's easy to see why we want to shake off that impression.
Another issue I had with standard playing cards is that the faces are rarely ever used in Cardistry. Cardists may use them for a spread or fan, but ultimately, the faces of cards get far less exposure than the backs, which is a pity, that's 50% of a deck that rarely gets seen!
This led me to ultimately design the School of Cardistry deck.
Can you describe the School of Cardistry deck and why you’re passionate about it?
The School of Cardistry deck is unlike anything you've ever seen. It's back showcases a timeless hand-drawn design featuring the School of Cardistry's logo and an array of details referencing both the art of classic card design and hand drawn instructions of old magic instructional books.
Unlike traditional deck of playing cards, the faces on the School of Cardistry deck are very unique, can you elaborate on that?
The faces are where the cards truly shine. Our contemporary face design is your average court card adapted into a beautiful abstract design. The art is postitioned in a way that looks good in both dynamic movements and static displays. It's simply a pleasure to work with.
What role did you play in the art direction and how did you get feedback??
I was the creative director in this project. Simply put, I decided how and who we were going to work with. For this project I knew I wanted an artist could could produce organic looking art and spent a long time trying to find an artist who could meet our standards. After multiple failed attempts, I finally met Marcus Lim from SVNTY and I knew he was the one.
Marcus' style of intricate designs, attention to negative space, and taste in balancing his art was exactly what we were looking for. I pitched to him the concept behind our cards and he got to work immediately. Marcus' and my back and forth allowed the cards to evolve from what I originally had in mind into the final product. It was an amazing process.
What do you think of the cardistry community in terms of the feedback and support that you’ve been getting?
The reception has been stellar! We've shown our cards to many Cardists and when they get the cards, they seem to be hypnotised by the faces of the School of Cardistry deck.
We often find Cardists who use our cards staring at their hands and observing the cards in motion. It feels like a new dimension of possibility has opened to the Cardists when they use our contemporary face designs. We are really happy to see our users enjoy our cards as much as they do.
Finally, what's next for NDO?
NDO has huge plans for this year. We've already signed on a few cardists and are working closely with then to produce tutorials for some of their signature moves. In 2014 we brought some huge things to the Cardistry scene, starting with the School of Cardistry Youtube channel, the one-stop Cardistry tutorial channel, followed by the Cardistry of South East Asia project, a deck, a DVD and a set of lecture notes.
Next we produced the Ripple+4 tutorial pack, a set of moves created by my friend Kenneth Aidan Foo, before ending the year with the School of Cardistry deck, the first of its kind non-standard playing cards. In 2015, we will be looking to push more boundaries and bring bigger, better things to the table.
Wow..! Sounds awesome. Thank you for your time Jaspas and Happy New Year! :)
The School of Cardistry deck is available from NDO's online store starting from $12. Also, check out and subscribe to NDO's School of Cardistry channel on YouTube for incredible cardistry tutorials.