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Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Adam Whitfield of NOVA Playing Cards



NOVA Playing Cards is headed up by first time Kickstarter and British graphic design student Adam Whitfield. Adam has taken a modern, simple and clean design to his creation. Geometric design elements are prominently featured throughout the custom deck, from the bold court cards to the recognisable pips and aces. Art, style and function come together in one unique playing card package.

We had a quick chat with Adam about his design background, inspiration and concept behind NOVA Playing Cards.


Can you tell us about yourself and what is your design background?
I'm Adam, an avid board/tabletop gamer and self-proclaimed perfectionist from the UK, currently studying graphic design at Nottingham Trent University. I got into design at a fairly young age, about 10. I had a computer but no internet so my main source of entertainment was messing around in MS Paint. From there I taught myself PhotoShop, I caught the design bug and now I just can't stop! I'm naturally a creative person and designing digitally allows me to create pixel perfect art and I hope NOVA is a testament to that.


What is your inspiration behind NOVA Playing Cards? How did you come up with the idea?
There's a small Danish shop in Nottingham I frequent called 'Søstrene Grene' that sells homeware and curios. I bought a notebook from there that I really liked the cover design of - a cream coloured square with a navy blue circle in the middle and a series of gold lines over it. I was looking at it one evening and I realised that this design had a certain charm and class that I just had to translate into a deck of cards. And so I did!

How much time did you spend working on the deck?
The idea for the deck was originally conceived back in January, shortly after I got the notebook. I made a few little pip designs but put the project aside to focus on university work. It wasn't until the beginning of summer that I began to sink my teeth back into it and from there it took me about two months to get it to a point that I felt confident sharing it. In truth though I haven't really stopped working on it, even now. That doesn't mean that I will be drastically changing the designs at all but instead making small tweaks here and there to perfect them.



Talk to us a bit about going from the first draft to the final version. How did you get to this finished product?
I knew from the start that I wanted the design to be built from parts of circles and straight lines at 45° angles, that was my design language, if you will. With that in mind I started working on the pips. In the beginning the pips were a bit more experimental but they became more traditional over time as these felt more in keeping with the 'classy' style I was going for. After that I devised my pip layouts, chose a typeface and started to work on some court cards. I had posted an image of my first court card (the King of Spades) to Reddit and after some feedback I decided to change the typeface. Originally, I had used 'Metropolis 1920' but legibility was a problem so I developed my own adapted characters that were more readable from a distance. From there I just churned out the rest of the court cards and made no end of tweaks until the deck is as you see it now.


What was your most brilliant breakthrough when designing the deck?
My real breakthrough of the project came with the court cards. I was anxious about making faces with the design language I'd put in place and how I was going to make each face look different. Long story short, who knew you could create so many different noses using only circles and 45° angles?

With so many playing card projects competing for funding, why should potential backers choose your deck?
Certainly nobody should back it because of my say so, the design is what should influence people's decision. I'm proud of what I've designed and if you too enjoy what I've created then that should be your reason for backing. For me, the best part about designing something is when you get to hold it in your hands and appreciate it. By backing the project you are helping to turn my work into a reality which is something I hope backers want to see as much as I do.


Finally, what are your favourite playing cards?
I'm relatively green when it comes to collecting playing cards so I don't own many decks (yet!) but if I have to choose from my collection so far my favourite deck would be my Club Nintendo Platinum deck. It's more of a novelty than useful deck but I like it because I'm a bit of a Nintendo fanboy. However, the deck I most want to get my hands on at the moment is Joe Doucet's 'IOTA' deck. I think it's absolutely genius and it really was love at first sight with this deck!

Thank you for your time, Adam and all the best! At the time of writing, the project is 59% funded with 16 days to go. If you like what you've read here and want to support NOVA Playing Cards, you can find it on Kickstarter Here!


Pledge starts from €11 (~USD$13), NOVA Playing Cards will be printed by the NPCC with linen finish.

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