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Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Franky Morales of the Red Saturn Playing Cards



Conceptualized by Franky Morales, Red Saturn playing cards are a contemporary deck inspired by the fall season. This minimalistic deck is the follow-up to the very successful Blue Saturn. Designed with simplicity in mind, the Red Saturn features updated artwork and is the result high demand for a coloured version of the previous release.

The Ace of Spades, Courts and Joker are inspired by Futurism design, lines interact with bold geometric shapes in a simplistic and contemporary style, while the striking minimalistic back design enhances displays and card flourishes, which have already proven to be quite popular amongst cardists.

We reached out to Franky and we had a chat about his design background, the inspiration behind the Saturn playing cards, the design evolution of the deck and support from the playing card community.

Firstly… You are an amazing Cardist! Can you tell us about yourself and how long have you been doing Cardistry?
Thank you for the compliment haha. My name real name is Jose Francisco Morales but many of you know me by my nickname, Franky. I am a 21-year-old college student who is pursuing Multi-Media Art in Schaumburg, Illinois. Currently, I have been in the Cardistry community for nine years with no plans on stopping.


Tell us a little about the background and the inspiration behind the Saturn Playing Card series?
Well, I actually made the Saturn Playing Card design in one of my courses. The project was to re-brand my favorite company or create a company of my choosing. I had been messing with Wynn Playing Cards so I thought why not re-brand the casino. My goal was to create a booklet showcasing the "Saturn Casino." Everything from the hotel rooms, restaurants, shows, and even a gift shop. Towards the end of the project I thought what harm could come from creating a deck of cards for the gift shop page. I didn't have to do that for my school project but im happy I did.

Walk us through the process you took to design Saturn. How did you approach this project and get to this finished product?
I tried to create a modern or retro-futuristic 1970's casino deck. Obviously we know double logos is a given but what mattered to me the most, was the logo. It couldn't look old and it had to withstand time. One of my goals was to create a logo that would still be cool in five plus years from now. I went on Illustrator, created nine concentric circles and started to play around with how they were positioned etc...

Once I was done, I sent a photo to a few friends privately on Instagram to see what they thought of the logo. I was just trying to get opinions on the logo and weirdly everyone assumed it was for a deck of cards. About half of my friends said "I cant see it working" and the others really liked the design. I decided to pursue the idea anyway with close feedback from Chris Severson, Franco Pascali, and Oliver Sogard.


Next I know, I started to create several different prototype decks. Originally, the now dubbed "Honeycomb" colorway was to be the first release but I thought not too many people can get behind the Yellow-Orange color. The Blue colorway was the next choice since thats my favorite color and I never thought the Red would be made. After the success of the Blue Saturns, I had a lot of people message measking for another color and this is where im at now.

Besides the update in colour palette, what are some of the design updates you’ve done to the Red Saturn?
Besides the color, I wanted to make the next Saturns to feel like a more complete deck. New joker, new ace, and new court cards have been created to fit this next edition better. I decided to make the switch to the USPCC and print on Crushed Bicycle Stock with Embossed Finish. I love working with Expert but I think a softer paper stock will allow Cardists and Magicians to be able perform some of their favorite material easier. I often have a hard time with Expert decks when flourishes require pressure such as the spring, flower fan, and lepaul spread.


Are there any surprises planned for the release of the deck?
There is a contest I want to host. Basically, everyone who enters is required to make a Cardistry video using Red Saturns. The video will be judged on creativity and how well its filmed/edited. The video submissions can be funny, serious, epic, a jam video between you and your friends - anything goes as long as its made for this contest! The more time you put into your videos, the greater your chances are on winning the grand prize...which would be one gross (144 decks) of Red Saturns.


We first noticed the Red Saturn on your Instagram page. What do you think of the playing card community in terms of the feedback and support that you’ve been getting so far?
I gave my instagram followers the chance to vote for either the Red Saturns or the Honeycombs because I know projects start and finish with the community. I want the people that invest their time in me to feel apart of my products and never feel like they are just a customer. The opinions of the community matter a lot to me and I get some people like double logo decks and others don't. But the community has really showed their support behind Saturns and its crazy to think when this first started, I did not think my deck would be cool or popular.

To my surprise, its the exact opposite and its really humbling to hear all the positive feedback from others. It makes me want to be closer to the people in our community and create more content for everyone to enjoy.

Finally, what are your favourite playing card decks?
My current to five are: Red Saturns, Black Fontaines, Blue Monarchs, Blue Tally Ho Circle backs, and Virts 2015.

Thank you for your time and all the best, Franky. If you like what you’ve read here and want to support the Red Saturn playing cards, you can find it on Kickstarter here. 


Red Saturn Playing Cards will be printed USPCC with the Crushed Bicycle Stock with Embossed Finish, similar to the wildly popular Fontaines and Tally-Hos. Pledge starts from $12 and there are multiple add-ons available such as uncut sheets, photo print and Limited Edition Red Saturn Skateboards by Adam Kirby.

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