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Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Annette Abolins of the VIZAĜO Playing Cards



The fun and vibrant VIZAĜO Playing Cards are designed by Australian artist Annette Abolins. This fully custom illustrated deck explores faces in a truly colorful way. More than a year in the making, the VIZAĜO artwork is influenced by traditional lino/wood-cut and contour line drawing techniques.

VIZAĜO features custom pips and courts in bold lines and vibrant color, each with its own distinct palette. The Aces are dressed in colors matching its suit's court, consistent with the theme of face cards. Also, each suit has its distinct palette, allowing the bold artwork to flow across the cards depicting vibrantly segmented faces.


Just before the launch of the Kickstarter campaign, we had a chance to talk to Annette about her design background, the inspiration, and design process behind VIZAĜO.

For those of us who don’t know, tell us a little about yourself?
Greetings from Australia and thank you for your questions! I'm an artist on a curious journey, which to date has taken me on a winding path from traditional painting and drawing; to printmaking, photography, industrial ceramics, pottery, web & graphic design and digital art. In 2010, when I embarked on my first deck project (illustrating Nine Lives Tarot), I discovered a true passion for designing cards. There is something quite magical about ancient systems based on visual language and the endless well of inspiration they provide for artists. When I’m not telling stories through art or designing websites, soul is enriched by family & friends, cats, music and the ocean.


What do you love most about being a designer? And what are some favorite projects you’ve worked on?
I love the journey involved in travelling from idea to finished design; some journeys are about discovery and inspiration, others more about problem-solving - though each project has something unique and inspiring to offer. One ceramics related project concluded with dinner in the Blue Hall in Stockholm (where the Nobel Prize Dinner is held each year), that was rather special :)


Can you describe the VIZAĜO Playing Cards? and why you’re passionate about it?
VIZAĜO is a celebration of colour, people and faces. Faces have appeared in my work for decades - from drawings & paintings to whimsical faces on teapots, mugs and bowls. This is a joyful and fun deck, which I truly enjoyed creating the artwork for. VIZAĜO [Vi-za-joh] – is Face in Esperanto - and it seemed just right to source the name for this deck from a language originally inspired to connect humanity across borders.


Talk to us a bit about going from the first draft to the final version. How did you get to this finished product?
The artwork for VIZAĜO is influenced by traditional lino/wood-cut and contour line-drawing techniques. From ink on paper to finished designs, developing each card and character has been been filled with inspiring moments. I especially enjoyed all the feedback on PCF forum where I posted regular updates along the way.


What was your most brilliant breakthrough when designing the deck?
That is a difficult question! In a sense I had a clear picture of this deck from the start, though there have been plenty of twists and turns along the way to bring each card to life. Developing the number cards was a breakthrough, as was the decision to add a second colour version. Together, the two decks reflect the colour palettes of the four suits, where Lumina (the red deck) incorporates the colours of hearts and diamonds, followed by Lumino (blue deck), which brings out colours from clubs and spades. Lumina and Lumino are a name-play on light vs dark, where both versions have identical card faces, giving card backs and tuck boxes their moment to shine...

From the project page, what are a few of your favorite reward levels and why?
This project focusses very much on the deck itself, so a favourite reward level would be one which gives me at least a few decks of each version :)


Finally, what are your favorite playing cards?
I am drawn to cards with stories, beautiful artwork and design - Three decks that I have been fortunate to discover recently are: ROME Anthony and Caesar: the artwork is gorgeous and Randy's attention to every little detail is stunning! Gemini: Lorenzo has created a truly beautiful deck of cards; a real treasure! Arcana: Chris' intricate illustrations connecting tarot and playing cards are just wonderful :)

Thank you for your time and all the best, Annette! If want to support VIZAĜO Playing Cards you can find it on Kickstarter here!


There will be two colors available in the campaign, the Lumina (red) and the stretched goal, Lumino (blue) version. Both will be printed by the Legends Playing Card Co. Pledge starts from $15 and add-on such as uncut sheets are available.
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