Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Dave Boyd of Wiretap Playing Cards

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Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Dave Boyd of Wiretap Playing Cards

Inspired by the recent revelations of numerous wiretapping activities around the globe, designer Dave Boyd set out to create the Wiretap Playing Cards,  a deck focused on putting the power to spy back into the hands of civilians - the deck is always watching, waiting, and dissecting.

We managed to locate Dave through our various intel and interrogate have a chat with him about his design background, inspiration and evolution of Wiretap and his thoughts on Kickstarter.

Can you tell us about yourself and what is your design background?
I graduated from the University of the Arts in 2012 with a BFA in Illustration. My main concentrations of work at the time were in editorial and concept work, but I grew to love the community and intricacies of playing cards after my Sultana debut in 2013.

This is your first individual Kickstarter Project. Why Kickstarter?
The platform is an excellent place to share ideas with and meet other creative professionals, as well as get feedback from a large community of backers. I really enjoy the fact that a project can fail or succeed merely based on its merits (and advertising, haha) alone.

What is your inspiration behind Wiretap Playing Cards? How did you come up with the idea?
A lot of my close friends (and father) are working in the tech industry, and often when we would get together we would talk about the Snowden leaks and what the impact the NSA is having on the tech community. It is critical to realize, especially for people as young as I am, that the next step in our online evolution is setting boundaries and deciding what constitutes privacy. Cloud technology companies in the US have been hurt badly by the NSA leaks, because foreign investors no longer feel safe putting their data in the hands of people who are constantly being watched.

I wanted to make a deck of playing cards that would remind the user that they are being watched, as well as their intended targets. Having a deck of cards like this laying around allows folks to strike up a conversation when guests are over, and I firmly believe that talking about a problem is one of the best steps towards solving it.

How much time did you spend working on the deck and can you briefly go through the design evolution of one of your unique card design?
When this is all through, I will have worked on this particular deck for about 2.5-3 months. I did all of the work outside my part-time job and often worked 10-12 hour days (mostly in February when I was getting my butt in gear).

First, I gather reference for all of my drawings. Finding images of the Edward Snowden was difficult, because the only photo that really exists was that one taken from his interview. After collecting the pictures, I draw a thumbnail in pencil which I scan into photoshop and edit until it is rock solid. [Picture 1]
I print out a black and white copy, and then use a lightboard to transfer the image onto a paper of thicker stock (typically cold-press Arches, Strathmore, or just regular Bristol Board). [Picture 2] I scan the fully-rendered image back in, adjust the levels, clean up the dust, and then color the whole image in Photoshop. [Picture 3]

It sounds really long and tedious when I type it out, but that whole process probably takes about an hour on a good day.

I initially noticed Wiretap Playing Cards on the forums. What do you think of the playing card community?
The reason why I'm so drawn to the playing card community is because they demand high-quality products and are easy-going and friendly all at the same time. When I posted up the Wiretap deck on the forums, many people leaped to point out improvements that could be implemented, and the general feedback that I got was constructive. I hope to be a part of this community for a long time, and it hinges on the success of this first deck.

What are your thoughts about the continuous strong growth of playing card projects on Kickstarter?
I can't say that I'm surprised. Collectibles have always done well on Kickstarter since their launch, and cards are no different.

Finally, what are your favourite playing card decks?
Federal 52, the CMYK deck, and Grotesque (yeah that's right, I'm declaring it before I've even got it). There's also a standard red Bicycle deck that's been in my camping gear for as long as I can remember, and I have fond memories of it.

Thanks Dave and all the best! Love your art style! :)

Pledge starts from $11 for the standard edition. There are also multiple rewards that are waiting to be unlocked once the project hits its stretch goals. The most notable is the second deck, the Gag Order. This deck will feature partially-blindfolded pips, a dark colour scheme and will focus entirely on counterintelligence. Also the courts be fully custom and will be futuristic spies (a la Splinter Cell).

Check it out!

Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Dave Boyd of Wiretap Playing Cards Reviewed by Ivan on 3/07/2014 Rating: 5

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