Bloodlines Playing Cards is created by first time Kickstarter, Billy French. This eye-catching deck derives it's name from the tradition of playing cards - the royal families. The court cards are unique in that rather than the traditional courts, these cards are represented by the kings, queens, knights and weapons, each with their own traits and personalities. Bloodlines features 56 gorgeously illustrated deck with custom Faces, Ace, Jokers and Tuck.
We caught up with Billy to talk about his design background, the inspiration behind Bloodlines and the design evolution of the deck.
Can you tell us about yourself and what is your design background?
Sure! I studied graphic design at the Savannah College of Art and Design, graduating in 2011. My work has taken me across the globe, spanning a range of projects from massive-multiplayer games to the published documentation of Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong. I currently live and work in Durham, NC as a designer and illustrator at Viget. In my free time I like to work on projects like Bloodlines, collect records, and travel.
This is your first playing card project on Kickstarter. Why Kickstarter?
I’ve been a huge fan of Kickstarter for a long time, having backed a good deal of projects. There’s something really wonderful to me about the ability to put an idea or product out there and see a community rally around it! I’ve toyed with bringing these cards to the market in a variety of ways, but ultimately Kickstarter will give me the most control over the end product.
What is your inspiration behind Bloodlines Playing Cards? How did you come up with the idea?
My inspiration was really rooted in the classical tradition/nature of playing cards with a desire to bring a fresh look to the face cards. Bloodlines derives it's name from the tradition of playing cards - and the 4 royal families. Each "family" has their own traits and personalities - something I hope people find delightful in this set. What you expect to see in a card set - kings, queens, weapons, the reflected design - it’s all there. But if you look closer, they’re not your typical characters, something I hope supporters will appreciate.
The cards went through many revisions. Mostly around color, the deck was much duller when I began. I spent nearly every evening for a year working on this deck, so change was bound to happen! The biggest adjustment was adding texture - the cards were originally designed with straight, solid clean lines. The texture brought so much more to the cards though, and I knew I had to update everything! That took awhile.
What was your most brilliant breakthrough when designing the deck?
I really feel like the back design was the hardest element to design - and it took many, many permutations to get it to where it is now. Finding a way to get the line work just right, make something I felt that both hobbyists and card professionals would be proud to use, that was probably the closest feeling to a breakthrough for me! Once the back and the tuck box were complete, everything felt right - cohesive.
With so many playing card projects competing for funding, why should potential backers choose your deck?
I realize there’s many, many other choices out there! I’ve poured a lot of my time, energy and self into this deck, and I hope the artwork reflects that. I’d want backers to choose my deck purely because they like it - because they want to see it exist as much as I do!
Finally, what are your favourite playing card decks?
Hands down, the Animal Kingdom Cards are some of my all time favorites! They’re fun, beautifully illustrated, and for a great cause! I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Tyler Deeb’s “Misc Co.” or Neighborhood Studio’s “Monarchs” - both inspiring, quality designs.
Thank you for your time, Billy and all the best! To support Bloodlines Playing Cards, head to Kickstarter.
Pledge starts from $15 and the deck will be printed by USPCC. Uncut sheet is also as an add-on.