Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Robert Tomlinson of Colonial Unrest Playing Cards

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Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Robert Tomlinson of Colonial Unrest Playing Cards

Colonial Unrest Playing Cards is the third and final chapter of the Unrest Series. Created and designed by talented artist Robert Tomlinson, this meticulously crafted deck takes us back to a time where the story of America began. The deck features 52 hand drawn illustrations displaying notable people during the American Revolutionary War.

For example, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are featured as the King of Spades and King of Clubs, respectively. Also, the jokers for the Colonial Unrest: An Empire Divided edition features the Boston Tea Party.

Having just completed the fulfilment of the Global Unrest Playing Cards, Robert took some time to chat with us about the Unrest series, the inspiration behind Colonial Unrest Playing Cards and Kickstarter.

Can you tell us about yourself and what is your design background?
I always dream of working for Disney Studios when I was a kid. I went to the Pennsylvania College of Technology to study graphic design. After college I spent several years working as graphic designer and editor for several small time newspapers. Being a small community, "design jobs" don't pay to well so I ended up working as a Quality Control Group Leader. As a creative release I started doing logos and then discovered Kickstarter and playing cards.

Can you describe the Unrest series and why you’re passionate about it?
A lot of people think the Unrest Series is about War. It is but it's not. War is a means to an end... so to speak. The Unrest Series is about freedom. That's why I saved Colonial for last. We couldn't help free others before we freed ourselves. I'm passionate about it because family. I've had family fight in WWII, family that fought and even some that died in the Civil War and we can even trace our family back as far as 1630's here in America. On my wall I have a certificate given to Isaac Tomlinson for his service in the American Revolutionary War.

What is your inspiration behind the Colonial Unrest Playing Cards? How much time did you spend working on the deck?
That's kind of funny... because yesterday (July 4th) was exactly a year to the day the Unrest Series came to be. My family and I was in Old Sturbridge Village (a living history town about Colonial America) when we learned during that time people didn't like playing cards with images of Kings and Queens. So basically they ended up creating cards using images of George Washington. Later that summer we took a trip to Gettysburg and realized we should tell the story kind of like Star Wars... that is give bits and pieces but not reveal the whole until the end.

From the Colonial Unrest Playing Cards project page, what are a few of your favorite reward levels and why?
It's hard to say. I made every effort to make sure people get a good deal no matter what reward level they select. Disney always said... "if someone expects a 10 minute ride and you only give them 8 minutes, you'll lose them as a customer but if you give them 12 minutes and they only expect 10, you'll have them as a customer for life. For the Unrest Series we made an extra effort to under promise and over deliver. I'm very grateful for people backing me and I know how to so my gratitude.

You have 4 successful Kickstarter projects. What are a few key elements and principles you incorporated into your project that you think future Kickstarter creators could benefit from knowing?
Well, there's tons that I learn from other designers. For example, Lorenzo gave me some advice about design that helped out a lot. As far as my projects, the only thing I do different is I create micro-boardgames in conjunction with my card projects. I do this to try and introduce cards to the game community. For example, my last microgame used cards to code and decode messages.

What are your thoughts about the continuous strong growth of playing card projects on Kickstarter?
It's amazing how KS card projects evolve over the last year. Some projects that got funded back then would never get funded now. Also, to me, it seems like less fraudulent KS projects out there. I think the card collecting community is growing more selective... which is a good thing.

Finally, what are your favourite playing card decks?
I like the Black Book of Playing Cards from Uncommon Beat, Sherlock Holmes from Jackson Robinson and I'm looking forward to getting Heretic from Lorenzo (his last work wasn't kid appropriate to have floating around the house... lol)... though it was amazing work.

Looks like another hit Robert! Thanks for your time and awesome insights. All the best! 

Colonial Unrest Playing Cards will be available in two editions: Standard and Limited (Kickstarter only!) Editions. These meticulously crafted decks will be Bicycle branded and printed by the USPCC. Pledge starts from $11. Also, multiple add-ons are available such as uncut sheets, custom dealer coins, custom dice and poker chips.

Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Robert Tomlinson of Colonial Unrest Playing Cards Reviewed by Ivan on 7/07/2014 Rating: 5

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