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Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Ember Waves of the UnTied States “Capitalists” Playing Cards



The UnTied States "Capitalists" Playing Cards is conceived by first time Kickstarter and graphic designer Ember Waves. This unique set of playing cards is bold, intricate and mesmerising in a complex way - this deck may not be to everyone's liking.

The deck is custom designed and signifies the United States cutting the ties of injustice and bigotry that has made up such a large part of its history. The entire point of the UnTied States brand is to be a symbol of acceptance and inclusion of all people no matter what their background may be.

We caught up with Ember Waves to chat about his creative background, Kickstarter and the inspiration and design process behind the Capitalists deck.

Can you tell us about yourself and what is your design background?
My name is Nate, I have been doing graphic design for over 15 years and I am the musician/producer that created Ember Waves. I love architecture and intricate designs and since I was scribbling drawings on the backs of my binders in middle school I have been obsessed with complex ideas.


From running a YouTube channel for aspiring card magicians to starting your own Kickstarter project, when did you first start thinking about using Kickstarter? What made you decide to take the plunge?
Well the YouTube channel started as just an idea to get people to see my card designs, as most of the videos feature my card designs. I had thought about Kickstarter for quite some time maybe 3 years or so to do something from my music (Ember Waves). Then after seeing lots of designs come out that were absolutely phenomenal, I decided why not come out with an Ember Waves design. That quickly turned into more and more ideas and now I have about 15 custom designs that will coming from the UnTied States brand in the future.

Can you describe the Untied States “Capitalists” Playing Cards and why you’re passionate about it?
Well I try not to go to far in the the political scope of things, being that people are extremely divided on that topic. But in a nutshell, the whole point of this line of card, the UnTied States, is to bring more awareness of the terrible bigotry and injustice that has been involved in America history. The play on words is really to symbolize this current movement in America, and how many people are trying to cut the ties of bigotry and injustice. I imagine a country that is fair and just, not divided and cruel to some. The entire point of the UnTied States brand is to be a symbol of acceptance and inclusion of All people no matter what their background may be.


How much time did you spend working on the deck and can you briefly go through the design evolution of one of your unique card design?
Well it's hard to put a raw number on it, I would estimate over 200 hours. But in reality it may have been double that, I love old currency and saw a lot of interesting and intricate patterns that I thought would make up a great idea for a playing card. I spent a lot of time just breaking down the artwork that makes up the certificates that are now no longer in circulation. I found a lot of things that could represent freedom or at least Should represent freedom and liberty and that's where it all started. As hours, weeks, months went by all the small intricate pattern ideas I made began to come together. Then came the daunting task of putting them all together to make a playing card. I had a lot of fun putting it together, but as my wife can attest, it took a Long time!

What was your most brilliant breakthrough when designing the deck?
Well that's a hard thing to put into words! Firstly I would not consider myself brilliant, I am a humble guy and as you might have seen I do not like to show my face or draw attention to myself as a person. This is all about an idea, so I would say the most brilliant idea would be the overall message of what these cards mean. Its not your standard deck of cards, and that was the whole point. I wanted to do something that would make people think and also could be something that they could spent hours looking at all the details.

With so many playing card projects competing for funding, why should potential backers choose your deck?
Well I personally haven't seen many decks out there that are similar. I think that collectors would really enjoy using this deck for poker and even for magic as the pips are easy to read. But above all my brand is going to be using extremely intricate patterns and designs and I think this will show to the average collector or cardist. I really enjoy the whole movement that cardistry has become, Dan & Dave have done a lot to bring playing cards to the place where they are now. I want anyone to own these to be proud they are a part of their collection. Ideally, I would like to see that bigotry and injustice are ideas that bring this country down. Inclusion of all people and acceptance of those that are different than you is something that could change the world. Not saying that these cards would do that, as I chuckle to myself, but the idea is there and hopefully people will see that.


Finally, what are your favourite playing card decks?
Wow, so hard to choose. I do have to say Theory11 and CardExpirement have some absolutely amazing designs to choose from. Jackson Robinson obviously is phenomenal. Just a short list to keep it simple I would say my top 10 are: Federal 52, Arcane, Density, Legacy, Monarchs, Artisans, The Black Book of Cards, Babel, Anicca, and Dream.

Thanks for your time Nate! If you like what you’ve read here and want to support the UnTied States “Capitalists” Playing Cards, you can find it on Kickstarter here


Pledge starts from $13 and the deck will be printed by the Expert Playing Card Co.
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