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Deck Development: The Joker and the Ace of Spades of Hidden Leaves by Mahdi Gilbert



On our new series, Deck Development, we follow the progression of a deck of playing cards starting with the design inspiration to the final product you will hold in your hands. The designer will explain development decisions and may show the development process as well as the result itself.

This is the third part of our look at the design development of Hidden Leaves Playing Cards, the upcoming deck by Mahdi Gilbert (@mahdigilbert). Hidden Leaves blend Japanese and French aesthetics to create the style of this gorgeous deck, a spiritual homage to Le Samoura├», the 1967 French masterpiece by Jean-Pierre Melville.

The images previewed here shows the Joker and the Ace of Spades. The Joker is one of the most important cards as it represents one of the most powerful figures in a deck of playing cards. Mahdi told Kardify,
In Hidden Leaves the Devil himself plays the fool. Innocuous to a deliberate fault. The credo of the pure fool in the words of James Joyce, "...I am not afraid to make a mistake, even a grave mistake, a lifelong mistake and perhaps as long as eternity too."

Hidden Leaves only comes with one Joker which Mahdi finds conform to the aesthetic of the deck, as having two would lessen its impact and power.
The Joker is much more powerful than even all the court cards in Hidden Leaves and I wanted to find a way to balance that out with my Ace of Spades.

As for the Ace of Spades, Mahdi decided to feature a poor, peasant girl, on her knees praying as the most powerful and important card in the deck. To show true strength in the weak as greater than pride in the worldly.
The writing below her is one of the many, many mysteries and secrets hidden in Hidden Leaves, which are always giving clues to it's past and future.
Stay tuned as we continue with deck development and reveal more of the Hidden Leaves Playing Cards. Let us know what you think in our comment section below.


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