The custom playing cards market has boomed over the past year, investment in crowd-funded decks have surged and new designs and concepts are pushing the boundaries of the simple constraints of one tuck x four suits x thirteen cards.
There’s no doubt that crowdfunding has had an impact on the playing cards industry. For those unfamiliar with crowdfunding, in a nutshell, is the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money (backers) to support projects initiated by other people or companies. The pool is used as capital for products and/or services offered as rewards to backers- only if the funding goal is achieved. Each projects have a variety of different pledge options (reward tiers) where larger pledge are rewarded with increasing incentives.
Kickstarter has been the most popular platform for crowdfunding playing card projects. In this "Top 12", we’ve collated 12 of the most funded playing card projects on Kickstarter to date.
12. Call of Cthulhu: The Writhing Dark
11. The Independence
Inspired by the American Revolution, the series consists of two decks representing both the Continentals and British. The Blue version in the set represents the Continentals, while the Red represents the Crown. Both decks feature Jackson Robinson's signature style and include multiple diptych panels that are striking all on their own.
10. ORNATE: White Edition
Meticulously designed by Randy Butterfield of The Midnight Card Company, the final installment of ORNATE decks features the Sapphire (Blue), Scarlet (Red), Amethyst (Purple), and Emerald (Green) designs, plus gorgeous Obsidian (Black) versions. The decks features fully custom art, foil & tuck embossing.
9. Black Mint
Recently funded, the Black Mint Playing Cards are designed for the workers. These playing cards provide a merger of form and function. The elegant back design is aesthetically appealing to the eye without attracting any unwanted attention; and yet mask an incredibly intuitive marking system for the clever magician to take advantage of. The Black Mint deck will be printed by the United States Playing Card Co. on the highest quality card stock and expected to ship to backers June 2016.
8. The Princess Bride
7. MISC Goods
Launched on Kickstarter in 2012 to unprecedented success - first playing card project to hit the $100k mark. A fully custom designed deck by Tyler Deeb. Stunning design, beautiful artwork - a 10,000 print run at The United States playing Card Co. Each deck is numbered by hand.
6. 3D Metal
Back in 2013, designer Dale Mathis broke new ground with this unique eye-catching deck of playing cards. Dale has designed a clockwork-like contraption that is complete with movable gears and a mechanical card frame to this unique eye-catching tuck case. Inside, the cards are printed by the United States Playing Card on standard Bicycle playing card stock and embossed finish.
5. Federal 52
Designed by Jackson Robinson of Kings Wild Project, the Federal 52 is the original deck released in the Federal 52 series. Inspired by modern U.S. bank notes, this deck features new, hand-drawn renditions of the presidents and other key figures found on U.S. currency. The deck features an embossed tuck box with green foil seals, Bee casino stock & magic finish. Winner of United Cardists Deck of the Year Award 2013, six categories including Deck of the Year.
4. Muertos - Day of the Dead
One of the most successful deck in 2014, Muertos is an original set of playing cards designed by Steve Minty. It is independently crafted and honors the holiday that celebrates life and death; Dia De Los Muertos. The Muertos deck takes the classic aesthetics of Dia De Los Muertos and is updated with the tradition of playing and my experiences growing up. It depicts the social classes and history of the culture while simultaneously giving off a contemporary elegant luxurious feel. Printed by the United States Playing Card Co.
3. Federal 52 Part 2
The high-anticipated follow up to the Original Federal 52 campaign. The Federal 52 Part II campaign consists of a total of 6 decks. Deck includes branded and unbranded version of the Silver Certificate, the White Reserve Note and the Black Reserve Note.
The most funded deck of 2015, Arcana Playing cards blend the traditions of standard playing cards with the secrets of the Tarot. This stunning deck is intricately illustrated by Chris Ovdiyenko. The royals are illustrated with an unprecedented amount of detail in an engraved style. Elements in the deck include 12 uniquely crafted Courts and Aces, 4 Major Arcana cards (The Fool, The Lovers, Death, and The Tower), and standard pip number cards. Also, Arcana features a natural pearlized tuck, with embossing and a luxurious blue foil on the tuck interior.
1. The Name of the Wind
The most successful playing card project on Kickstarter! Funded in 2013, this is Albino Dragon's take on Patrick Rothfuss's award-winning novel, The Name of the Wind. The team worked closely with Patrick to create a deck that is as much a work of art as it is an homage to his amazing literary work. Beautifully illustrated by Shane Tyree.