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Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Chris Staples of Fall of Troy Playing Cards



Inspired by ancient greek design and scenes from the legendary Greek mythology, Fall of Troy playing cards is the first playing card project from designer Chris Staples. This hand-illustrated deck tells the legendary story of the Trojan War, an epic tale of love, revenge, sorrow and bloodshed.

Fully custom, this deck features illustrated custom Faces, Courts, Aces, Jokers, Tuck and an eye-catching back design, striking the balance between ancient styles and modern layout. The deck puts you right in the middle of the Greek mythology!

We had the opportunity to chat with Chris about the new project, it's inspiration and design process. We hope you enjoy some of the background to the Fall of Troy deck.

For those of us who don’t know, can you tell us about yourself and what is your design background?
I’d be happy to tell you about myself and thanks Ivan, for sharing the Fall of Troy campaign with your readers.

Design has been a part of my professional life for nearly twenty years. I’ve worked in animation, advertising, music and film for some big studios such as Disney, Dreamworks, Warner Bros and Cartoon Network. I am currently the Creative Director for umigo.com, an animated, interactive project funded by the US Dept. of Education. More of my work can be seen on my website.


This is your first playing card project on Kickstarter. Why Kickstarter?
I have been funding projects over the years through Kickstarter. When I decided to launch my own campaign, Kickstarter was the crowdfunding resource with which I was most familiar. Kickstarter also supports the thriving custom playing card community that inspired my own project.

Can you describe the Fall of Troy Playing Cards and why you’re passionate about it?
The Fall of Troy ][ Epic Playing Cards is a custom, poker-sized deck of playing cards. The backs and faces feature hand-illustrated artwork, inspired by ancient greek design. The court cards display characters and scenes from the legendary Trojan War.

Like so many people, I have been interested in ancient mythology for most of my life. I love these stories and hope that others will discover them through the Fall of Troy cards and love them too. Or, perhaps they will rediscover something that they used to know and love.


Walk us through the process you took to design Fall of Troy Playing Cards. How did you approach this project and get to this finished product?
Once I knew that I wanted to explore the Trojan War in the form of playing cards, the process went something like this… Research, research, research. Design. Trash. Research. Design. Trash. Drink. Research. Design. Hooray! 

This took a few months.

At that point, however, I was happy with the development of the style and ready for production. Production begins with finding inspiration in ancient art. My primary focus was on a particular form known as red-figure pottery, developed in Athens around 520 BC. I often combine aspects of multiple pieces in order to create an element that works in playing card form. This means considering elements of symmetry and the inclusion of the suit graphics. I also consider the story of the character being portrayed and how it relates to the story of the court card. I’ve written some short articles on that aspect that are posted as updates on the campaign page. The rest of the process is the meticulous work of laying out the artwork to function first as a playable deck of cards and second as a stack of mini canvasses. Following this is the printing stage which, in this day and age, is a dream come true for a kid who was designing Variety covers in the 90’s.

What was your most brilliant breakthrough when designing the deck?
My favorite breakthrough on this project has been connecting the King of Hearts with Ajax of Salamis. I wrote a short article about it as a campaign update. Check it out. And please hit the like button. :)


Were you aware of the different deck of playing cards out there and did any decks inspire you?
Yes, I’ve backed a few custom decks. Leonardo, by Dent-de-Lion du Midi and all of Uusi’s stuff have been a big source of inspiration. Of course, there are so many more great decks out there. I need to sell my cards just to support my custom card habit. Between me and you, I had to set up an KS account that is just for cards. That’s normal, right?

Haha... I think so. ;) Finally, what are your favourite playing card decks?
So many. Maybe it would be quicker to list a few of the amazing artists out there… As mentioned Dent-de-Lion du Midi and Uusi. Jackson Robinson, Alexander Chin, Steve Minty, the Edgy Brothers… and so many more. I’m also excited about the new technologies available as seen in the decks made by companies like MPC. Did I mentioned that I may have card collecting problem? Please support my habit by backing The Fall of Troy ][ Epic Playing Cards. Thanks again Ivan. Cheers!

No worries! Thank you for your time, Chris! At the time of writing, the project is only 49% funded with 21 days to go. If want to support Fall of Troy Playing Cards, you can find it on Kickstarter here.


Pledge starts from $12 and the Fall of Troy Playing Cards will be printed by Make Playing Cards (MPC). Add-ons such as uncut sheets and art prints are available.


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