Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Daniel Kroemer of 1910 Brew House Playing Cards

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Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Daniel Kroemer of 1910 Brew House Playing Cards

Designed by Daniel Kroemer, the 1910 Brew House Playing Cards are a beer themed deck of cards inspired by vintage beer trays and advertisements from around the world.

These unique deck features meticulously illustrated custom aces, courts & jokers, a classic American style tuck with embossing, matte finish & printed interior with a custom retro numbered seal for each deck.

Between his busy schedule, we were able to catch-up with Daniel for a quick Q&A on his design background, the inspiration & design evolution behind the 1910 Brew House deck and his thoughts on Kickstarter.

Can you tell us about yourself and what is your design background?
My name is Daniel Kroemer, but it's pronounced "Kramer." I was born in Massachusetts and raised in Dacula, Georgia. Finding a passion in design came during my senior year of high school when I was really just looking for something to get me out of the standard core classes. There's a place called Maxwell High School of Technology in the county I lived in, and you could opt to take a class there for half the day to learn a specific trade, and only attend your regular school for three periods. I did this my junior year to take automotive because I thought that, without a doubt, I wanted to be an automotive technician. I quickly realized that wasn't the case and really didn't like it too much. My senior year I knew I wanted to go to Maxwell again, I just didn't know what to take, so I picked a graphic communications class because playing on the computer for two and a half hours every day and learning to airbrush sounded pretty cool. I ended up becoming obsessed with that class and graphic design as a whole. I would stay hours after school and then get back on the computer again at home to keep working. I actually quit the baseball team so I could focus even more on it after I realized I had found my true passion. It was definitely a crazy awesome and exciting time for me looking back and I wish I could find it all over again.

So towards the end of the school year I began looking for internships I could do over the summer. I ended up landing one at an awesome design firm in Buford, GA called The Design Pub, also known as Veugeler Design Group. They have a theme of an old brew pub with a pool table, massive old beer bottle collection, a full bar, beer advertising and flags everywhere, etc. It's also located in an old factory building which fits perfectly with the theme. I interned there for a few weeks, then became a part time designer while I began taking college classes. It felt really unnecessary taking the college core classes knowing they wouldn't get me any closer to where I wanted to be in the design world. That feeling led me to taking a full time job as a graphic artist at The Design Pub and quitting school after the first semester.

I worked at The Design Pub for around two years and then felt the need to find something new. A company called EvoShield in Athens, GA needed a new designer and they really caught my eye. EvoShield is a sports protection and apparel company that just started blowing up recently and is named the Official Protective Gear Supplier for Major League Baseball. Having always played sports I could really relate to this company and ended up landing the job as a full time designer, where I stayed a little over two years and learned an immense amount. I designed everything from t-shirt designs to team logos to magazine advertisements to web materials - pretty much anything a sporting company could need design-wise.

That brings me to now. I quit my job at EvoShield, not because I didn't enjoy it but because I felt I needed to be out on my own for a while to really focus on jobs I felt passionate about. I knew I eventually wanted to work for myself, and figured now is a better time than ever to go after that dream. If things don't work out I can always find a full time position somewhere, but I had to take the chance while I'm not married and my responsibilities are basically limited to myself and myself only. One of the projects I've been wanting to do for a while now is design my own deck of playing cards, and I knew I wanted to make them beer-themed. The results of this project will show me if I can handle taking on these passion projects, or if I need to stick to client work or a full-time design job - so it's a pretty big deal to me and I'm really hoping all goes well.

This is your first Kickstarter project. What motivated you to create your own deck of cards?
I guess I already somewhat answered that in the first response, but there are really two reasons. One of them being that I love playing cards in general, from the old vintage decks to the newly designed decks on Kickstarter. I love artwork of all kinds and playing cards are a cheap and easy way to get inside a designer's mind. I want my artwork to be out there among all of the other cards in the world and knowing someone might be playing Poker with my artwork is pretty cool.

The second is that I'm on a mission right now to figure out what path I'll be taking in design. In a perfect world I could focus on passion projects and sell them while doing minimal client work on the side. If that ends up not being the case, I may look for a full-time design job at a company or just focus on only client work, which isn't really what I want to be doing. I find it's much easier to pour your heart into a personal project than to pour it into someone else's dream, as I'm sure any designer can attest to. On top of those reasons, my dad is a deck collector and ever since I've mentioned doing my own deck, he's been on me about getting it out - so that's been some extra motivation.

What is your inspiration behind the 1910 Brew House deck? How did you come up with the idea?
I've always loved beer advertising. Fuel was added to that fire even more when I began working at The Design Pub. I've collected old beer memorabilia for quite some time now, along with signs and brewery glassware. A little fun fact about myself is that I have a collection of over 1,000 different glasses from all over the world, all because I love the artwork involved with each of them. I noticed a lack of any classy beer related playing card deck on the market so it seemed like an opportunity to create my own. The characters on the courts are based off of pre-prohibition beer trays and advertisements.

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?
For the Ace of Spades I really just wanted to have something purely Americana and beer themed at the same time. I know it may seem somewhat overdone to have an eagle as the AoS (or maybe that's just in my head) but I thought it was perfect to have the eagle holding onto wheat and hops in front of the barrels. I have no idea about the time spent. It's been somewhat of an on and off job while I work through some other projects, so I haven't been keeping up with hours.

What was your most brilliant breakthrough when designing the deck?
 I would say the biggest breakthrough, as with most projects, was telling myself to stop thinking so hard and trying to make everything perfect and just do what feels right. When you're designing a project purely out of passion and not for the monetary value, it's easy to over think every little thing and to keep changing things over and over. Eventually you just have to go with the flow and stop looking back.

What are your thoughts about the continuous strong growth of playing card projects on Kickstarter?
Being a newbie playing card designer, I don't have too much of an opinion on the matter, but I would say there are positives and negatives, as with anything. I think there are a multitude of decks that shouldn't ever reach the public's eye and just crowd the scene. As long as a deck is well thought out and is artistically sound I would love more custom decks to be available. It seems there are a lot of younger people who love cards but aren't designers or artists, and they want to get a deck out because it's a cool thing to do. That's great and all but unfortunately the decks just have too many issues and don't have the form that decks need to follow. It's one thing to be creative and do something new, but the decks should still be easily readable and playable. All just my opinion of course. Overall I love seeing new decks emerge and to see what ideas designers are coming up with.

Finally, what are your favourite playing card decks?
From a classy standpoint, I love pretty much everything that Theory 11 puts out. The decks are so beautiful and clean. One of my favorite tuck boxes is from The Boardwalk Papers, but that's mainly just because I love the work of Drew Melton who did the artwork. Jackson Robinson's decks are always amazing but I think that's a given for any card enthusiast. As far as vintage goes, I really love the old pin up girl decks simply for the artwork, but I collect those vicariously through my dad so I don't spend the cash on them.

Thank you for your time Daniel and all the best! 

Pledge starts from $12 and the 1910 Brew House Playing Cards will be printed by the USPCC on their famous Bicycle stock. There are also multiple rewards that are waiting to be unlocked once the project hits its stretch goals. The most notable is the RED Brew House deck at $50k! Add-ons such as coasters, wooden coins and uncut sheets are available.

Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Daniel Kroemer of 1910 Brew House Playing Cards Reviewed by Ivan on 10/03/2014 Rating: 5

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