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Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Ben Jones of Prism: Night Playing Cards



Prism: Night Playing Cards by Elephant Playing Cards (EPC) is the brainchild of first time Kickstarter, Ben Jones. Prism was created to highlight the beautiful radiance of light. Each number and court card has a subtle radial pattern emerging from a singularity, cutting through the darkness and revealing the color of the suits it intersects.

What makes this deck truly unique is the special gloss ink; shiny, raised and smooth to highlight the light beams, corner indices and numbers, which gives the card texture you can feel. Also, when the cards are moved, the light sparkles off every facet of the light beams. This will surely be a conversation piece during poker nights or to show off your personal collection.

With this being Ben's first venture on Kickstarter we were happy to have had a chance chat about his maiden voyage and discuss the idea and design process behind Prism.

For those of us who don’t know, tell us a little about yourself and Elephant Playing Cards.
My name is Ben Jones from Elephant Playing Cards (EPC), a ‘small but passionate team of dedicated designers’. When I say small, I mean very small – it is myself and some casual collaborators who really enjoy creating interesting and beautiful things for people who appreciate them. I’ve been interested in playing cards because of how diverse the designs can be, how intricate and creative you can get with them, and how each deck has its own ‘flavour’ or character which embodies something of the designer. They also have the added benefit of being practical art – something you can use while you appreciate it.

We are a new company, and this is our first Kickstarter project. I have always had a love of creating things, and have been involved with a number of other creative projects in the past, though all are private commissions or interest pieces – nothing like a commercial venture we are trying for now.


This is your first Kickstarter project. When did you first start thinking about using Kickstarter? What made you decide to take the plunge?
The catalyst for the kickstarter initiative was the devlopment of a card game some friends and I are developing. In my research into how we could fund it, I came across kickstarter, and was immediately captured by the incredible community and culture of innovative playing card design and development. I had already had some thoughts about the design of playing cards, but until then it had just been thoughts. Having a real community which got behind the design and development of new projects was a great encouragement for me. After that initial contact, the great communities at UnitedCardists and PlayingCardForum helped me along and inspired me to create Prism: Night.

Can you describe the PRISM: Night Playing Cards and why you’re passionate about it?
The Prism: Night playing cards are a unique blend of bold colors and tactile gloss ink which combine to give a really striking design. They are inspired by light shining through a prism; where it is refracted into the different color components. In the cards, this is represented by the gloss lines on black symbolizing the unbroken light, and then when it hits the 'prism' of the central indices it splits into the rainbow colors. This gloss layer is very think and smooth; it doesn't affect the playability of the cards and looks incredible in real life! When you hold it in your hand, the light plays off every facet of the ink, really drawing the eye. One of the components I am most exited about is the uncut sheet - I have seen what the individual cards look like, I can't wait to get all of them together in one sheet - it will look phenomenal!


Walk us through the process you took to design this unique deck. How did you come out with the idea and how did you get to this finished product?
As I said above, the inspiration came from seeing light refracted through a prism. I am an Engineer by trade, and am drawn to understand and describe the beauty of physics in nature. I tried to capture this in the design of these cards. The design themselves went through a number of iterations (helped largely by the folks on the forums I mentioned before). I starter with the central images shot through by light, then included the glowing outline to further solidify their form. After that was done, I included the gloss layer of ink (inspired by MPC's 'Impressions' deck), and played around with the moving center of the radial light beams. Once that was done, the courts were constructed with warm and cold glows at the centers, and the jokers were formed from bouncing beams of light refracting off the 'walls' of the card edges. It was all quite organic once I started, as I just tried to capture visually what I imagined the light was doing.

What was your most brilliant breakthrough when designing the deck?
I think the one thing that really sets the deck apart is the bold use of tactile gloss ink combined with the color design. Before I had the gloss in mind, the design was quite plain, but after I added it, it created such a unique look and feel that I new I was onto something. While the pictures may look a bit plain by themselves, you can see that with the addition of an 'invisible' layer of ink really brings the design to a new level. I have used color to show the 'visible' elements, and the shine of light to show the 'invisible'. So it combines both the sight and touch, both the matt and gloss elements into the final products.


With so many playing card projects competing for funding, why should potential backers choose your deck?
While MPC have their 'impressions' range of decks, they do not use color and light in the same way as Prism: Night does. No other deck of playing cards that I have seen uses the gloss as an integral and complementary element in the design. There are many many designs out there, but Prism: Night is on a different level as it is pushing the boundaries of what is 'normal'. To move away from a simple printed card face to include another layer has given it a truly unique feel and a stunning finish. There is nothing like it on the market, and the bold colors and textures mean that it will be a staple for collected for years to come.

Finally, what are your favourite playing cards?
I really love the designs of the 'Tendrils' decks by Encarded - the box design and art are so striking and subtle at the same time, it's a masterpiece. on the other side, I also enjoy the transformational work of Emmanuel Jose in his 'delicious' deck, and look forward to releasing a semi-transformational deck of my own once work on the Prism: Night project is completed.

Thank you for your time, Ben and all the best! To support Prism: Night Playing Cards, head to Kickstarter

Pledge starts from $14 and the deck will be printed by the Legends Playing Card Co. Uncut sheet is also as an add-on.
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