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Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Soleil Zumbrunn of Glitch Playing Cards

Glitch playing cards is a unique set of playing card deck that combines radicalism and classic design that we all are familiar with. Skillfully crafted by Swiss designer Soleil Zumbrunn, these cards are visually direct and intense due to it's opposing colors... giving it a sense of distortion. It might not be everyone's cup of tea but this exceptional deck has been meticulously put together.

We caught up with Soleil for a quick chat about her design background, the inspiration & design process behind Glitch and Kickstarter.

Can you tell us about yourself and what is your design background?
I'm from Switzerland and now live in San Francisco. I studied at School of Design Kolding, in Denmark, under the Communication Design department, focusing mainly on interaction design, methodologies and processes. The majority of my work has been video / video installations and print work. You can check out my work on my website.

This will be your first Kickstarter project. Why Kickstarter?
I love how Kickstarter works. It is a great platform for finding like-minded folks. After telling my brother that I'd like to get the cards produced he mentioned that there are other card creators using Kickstarter to get it going. So now I am trying my luck as well.  

What is your inspiration behind Glitch Playing Cards? How did you come up with the idea?
I've always been interested in distortion of reality. I started exploring it with my first glitch project a couple of years ago, where I used datamoshing to censor a person. I felt it gave the viewers a very visual barrier that something was out of the norm - something wasn't quite right. I liked how people reacted to it and since then I've worked on several projects where the surrealistic effects break emotional norms and patterns.

A common object, like playing cards are the perfect medium to bringing that concept into the analog world.  

How much time did you spend working on the deck? Also, can you briefly go through the evolution for one of your unique card designs?
I've been interested in and working with glitch art and anti-aestethetics for years. I feel like I've been working on the deck for months. It took a long time to get every card right, as I wanted the deck to be playable, while making every card unique and interesting in its own way.

The first step was slicing and dicing up old decks I had laying around. I like to work with my hands to get a project going, to really get into that flow of play.

There are some process images (example below) on Kickstarter that illustrate the whole procedure. Once I decided on the right style for a card I brought it in to Adobe Illustrator to refine the design and finish it up.  

From the project page, what are a few of your favorite reward levels and why?
I tried something new for the early bird rewards. A "pay as you wish" level that gave backers complete control over what they thought was a fair price. It was a very interesting experiment and I was positively surprised how almost every single backer pledged considerately!

I'm really excited about the uncut sheet and I think it's become one of the more popular rewards!  

Playing card projects on Kickstarter has grown exponentially over the past few years? What are your thoughts? 
I think it's fantastic that playing cards are doing so well on kickstarter - it's great for us designers that we can reach out to collectors directly without going through a traditional card distributor. A niche concept like glitch would be very to hard to pitch to a printer directly :)

Finally, what are your favourite playing card decks?
Actually my favorite playing card deck is the standard Bicycle rider back, because it’s a design classic. I also really love the decks by Uusi - especially the Pagan deck with its beautiful craftsmanship.

Thank you for your time Soliel and all the best! If you like what you’ve read here and want to support the Glitch Playing Cards, you can find it on Kickstarter here

Glitch Playing Cards will be printed USPCC. Pledge starts from $15 and there are multiple add-ons available such as t-shirts and the popular uncut sheets.
Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Soleil Zumbrunn of Glitch Playing Cards Reviewed by Ivan on 5/28/2014 Rating: 5


  1. A very cool interview, really interesting to read about how this artist works and goes about designing what is a crazy but well thought out new take on traditional playing cards. I didn't realize that glitch was a design thing - kudos to a neat idea well done.

    Also... the uncut sheet is AWESOME! Does anyone know if I could buy that from her?

  2. Hey @Albert Newton, the uncut sheet is available as an add-on for $25 in the project. :)

  3. These cards made me dizzy =(

  4. Honestly. I think these cards would be great for cardistry with the odd back design, but I think could be a little hard to concentrate during neighborhood games or magic tricks!


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