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Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Michael Scott of 1876, A.Dougherty Triplicate Playing Cards Restoration

How would you like to own a piece of playing card History? The restoration of the 1876 No.18 Triplicate Deck by A. Dougherty is a collaborative project by Michael Scott of with the USPCC to bring this piece of History back to life on Kickstarter.

The first of its kind, Triplicate No.18 deck features a unique miniature card placed in the top left and bottom right corners. It was a revolution in the way cards could be held and viewed. Hundreds of hours have been put into researching archives, designing formatting. re-drawing the art for these cards to bring this treasure back to life.

We caught up with Michael for a quick Q&A on his design background, the inspiration, challenges of the restoration deck and lessons from his previous Kickstarter projects.

Can you tell us about yourself and what is your design background? 
My name is Michael Scott and I've never heard of some TV show called The Office. "That's what she said!" My background in design came from Architecture and graphic design. I have designed and built houses for 15 years and I've designed logos for businesses since college. I've been designing games and cards since I was young. Most of my characters were friends and family members. Finally decided to try and take my ideas to the public and joined Home Run Games with Cobey Pile in 2011.

This is your first individual playing card project on Kickstarter. Why playing cards?
Actually I came up with the idea for 8-Bit playing cards with Cobey Pile and did the art work. Cobey ran the campaigns on both of those projects. We have made 9 different 8-Bit playing card decks. I have collected playing cards since I was young. I love the art work and their versatility. I buy a deck in each city I travel to, they are so easy to collect.

What is your inspiration behind the 1876, A.Dougherty Triplicate Playing Cards Restoration? How did you come up with the idea? 
I studied history in college. One of my favorite pastimes is reading history books. I have studied the art and characteristics of playing cards over the last several years and Andrew Dougherty has become one of my favorite manufacturers. I find his story fascinating and I connected with it, as many of my ancestors came from Ireland in the 1800's.

I decided that I wanted to restore the artwork and bring some of these beautiful decks back to life and approched The United States Playing Card Company about it. They were already familiar with my work as Home Run Games has printed nearly a dozen decks with them. They loved the idea and I got to work. I narrowed my first project down to 2 decks the Triplicate deck and the Squeezers deck from The New York Consolidated Card Company. I ended up deciding to start with the Triplicate deck because it is so unique. I also love the box and the back.

How much time did you spend working on the restoration and what challenges did you encountered while trying to get authorisation from the USPCC?
I started my research and idea on the project in late 2011. The actuall art for this deck started in spring of last year. I have several hundred hours in research and design. I easily have over a hundred and fifty hours of drawing and formatting. I worked on the restoration stamp for a long time and then felt it wasn't working so I left it for a few weeks. When I came back to it, I threw it away and started over, the second time it finally came together.
USPCC is great and first class in all they do. As I turned in artwork they didn't turn it right back around, it was thoroughly looked over for several weeks before I receive and answer if it was approved or if there needed to be any changes. It has easily been the most work I have had to do on a deck of playing cards, but I am so excited to bring it back to life.

What are your thoughts about the continuous strong growth of playing card projects on Kickstarter?
As I previously stated collecting playing cards has been a hobby of mine since I was young. I played cards with my grandparents and I teach those same games to my kids. The difference in collecting now is that the number of decks being created has grown exponentially. Kickstarter has created a medium for artist to showcase their ideas. I have purchased many of the decks created and any time a new one is released I want to see it.

I have discussions regularly with other deck creators on Kickstarter and enjoy bouncing ideas off them. Paul Roman Martinez and I spoke for a long time at the Phoenix Comicon about the playing card market. He just released his first playing card project and it is awesome. I know there are many more designers out there looking to get into the playing card market. The beauty of playing cards is that they are an easy thing to collect. They are small, most of them cost the same as lunch and each deck offers so much variety. I think playing cards will continue to be a very strong presence on Kickstarter. However, I know people are being more budget conscious because they want to be sure they don't miss out by overspending on one project.

You have previously launched 7 projects (3 successful) on Kickstarter. Are there any takeaway lessons from your previous projects you would like to share?
My first project was an art book to showcase the art of my good friend from the Czechoslovakia, Ivan Preissler. He passed away and his mother was collecting his art. I wanted to share it with everyone. It did not fund. I learned a lot during the campaign. My second was a game Ultimate Soldier, half way through I canceled and relaunched and it funded. Again I learned a lot about what people are looking for and the value they put on it. I think ultimately the project has to be something you love and believe in, second backers have to want it and see a value, then you need a little luck. When backers believe and share your project, that is when magic happens.

Very well said. Finally, what are your favourite playing card decks?
I love Andrew Dougherty designs. I really like his illuminate deck and it is something I would like to restore in the future. I am also a big fan of the Samuel Hart designs. I love history and their is rich history in playing cards. I think it's one reason I also love baseball,watch out for a future historic baseball deck:) I also love the 1910-40's USPCC decks. There is just so many decks I love collecting. As far as recent decks go my favorite deck besides the 8-Bit decks :) has been the original Federal 52 deck.

Thanks Michael! If you like what you’ve read here and want to support the Triplicate Playing Cards Restoration,  you can find it on Kickstarter here.

Two editions are available: the standard edition which comes with a modern tuck case and the limited edition which features a vintage recreation of the original 1876 box with a long tongue, printed with the famous Douguerty’s Linoid Finish and wrapped original paper wrapper printed on archival paper and sealed with 2 restored stamps. Each limited deck will be signed and numbered on the deck and on the back of the paper wrapper.

Pledge starts from $11 for the standard edition and $25 for the limited 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 edition of the no.18 Triplicate Deck.

Don't miss out on a piece of history!

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Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Michael Scott of 1876, A.Dougherty Triplicate Playing Cards Restoration Reviewed by Ivan on 3/01/2014 Rating: 5

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