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Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Mankin Chan of Cultura Playing Cards



Cultura Playing Cards are an adorable deck of cards inspired by the different cultures of the world. Designed by Mankin Chan, the deck is fully custom, with unique artwork on all 54 cards in a retro flat designed style.

A lot of thought has gone into the design of the deck. Each suit represents a different country: Spades - Italy, Clubs - USA, Diamonds - China and Hearts - Netherlands. The colourful mirrored design of the backs are typically retro and decorated with the four suits. Also, each of the court cards are custom in traditional clothing and the standard fifty two cards are used to represent a cultural category, such as drinks, sports, transport etc... Exemplify the uniqueness of this deck.

We reached out to Mankin and had a chance to talk about the design background & idea behind the Cultura and Kickstarter.

Can you tell us about yourself and what is your design background?
I am a product designer with also a great interest in graphic design. Since my childhood I have always loved drawing and designing new products. With this project I have combined these two passions into the Cultura card deck.


This is your first playing card project on Kickstarter. Why Kickstarter?
I think Kickstarter has a great friendly and welcoming interface. I like to use it and browse through all the inspirational projects. Next to that Kickstarter is also one of the biggest and most popular platforms, so it gave me a professional and trustworthy feeling to start my own project. I think this is very important for a crowdfunding project where you don't want to disappoint your backers.

What is your inspiration behind Cultura Playing Cards? How did you come up with the idea?
I am a big fan of board and cardgames, and since last year I discovered the great world of custom playing cards. As a designer, I was immediately motivated to design my own deck of cards. I have always been fascinated by the evolvement of different cultures in different countries.I like to travel a lot to discover these cultural differences and I like the fact that each countries has their own traditions and style. I thought this would be a very resourceful and unique theme for my playing cards.

Talk to us a bit about going from the first draft to the final version of Cultura. How did you get to this finished product?
The first thing I did after getting the idea to create these cards, is doing a lot of research. I wanted to use countries from all over the world, and they should have a very distinctive culture. After choosing four countries I brainstormed a lot to find good categories to compare the cultures.


This was quite hard because the categories should also result into nice cards. Which brings me to the design of the cards. I wanted to create a colourful, fun and completely different card deck. So I went into the process with the thought that every card should be a piece of art. I have spend a lot of time on the details of the cards. It took me over a year to finish these 54 custom cards, but I had fun doing it.

How did you get feedback?
I shared the design of the cards with a couple of designer, friends and family, which all had their own contribution by giving different type of feedback.

With so many playing card projects competing for funding, why should potential backers choose your deck?
I think this deck is unique and a great collectors item. It has a bright and positive vibe over it with its colourful design and you get 54 fully customized cards. Because of its low entry retro happy design I think it is also great as a gift for non playing card collectors. You are not only buying a deck of cards, but also a deck of art.


Finally, what are your favourite playing card decks?
I think No.17 of Lorenzo is really nice and I look forward to get these. But I also like Pagan, Sawdust and the Seasons decks. I think there are many more I like that I forget to mention now but these are the ones that come to mind first.

Thank you Mankin and all the best! At the time of writing, the project is only 25% funded with 26 days to go. If want to support Cultura Playing Cards, you can find it on Kickstarter here


Cultura will be printed by LPCC on their popular Classic Finish card stock. Pledge starts from €8 (~USD$9). There are multiple add-ons available such as uncut sheet and an A4 sized poster.

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