Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Simon Bruno of the Glassback Playing Cards

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Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Simon Bruno of the Glassback Playing Cards

Designed by Hyun Yoo and Simon Bruno, the Glassback Playing Cards are an eye-catching deck inspired by the minimal stained-glass design. The unique 4-colour back design accentuate card flourishes and displays, making fans, spins and cascades look incredible! Glassback consists of 52 cards and features a custom Ace of Spades, 2 custom Jokers and a side tuck with blind embossing of the Glassback logo.

We caught up with Simon after Cardistry-Con and had a quick chat about his design background, inspiration and idea behind the Glassback deck and Kickstarter.

Can you tell us about yourself and what is your design background?
So a little about me, I am a freshman at Siena College in Albany NY. I have been into cards ever since I was a kid. Whether it be a poker game or a magic trick or a card flourish I have always loved cards. As far as my design background, I wanted to go to art school for the first 3 years of my high school experience. Around my junior in highschool my cousin started a clothing line and brought me in on it. I immediately fell in love with branding and business. Even though we ended up moving on to different things, I knew I wanted to do something where I could combine art and business. I sat on this concept for a long time.

Almost 2 years went by until I figured out that playing cards would be the perfect way to combine my passions. Once I had the idea, I had the help of a talented young designer from Siena, Hyun Yoo, help me bring the Glassback playing cards to life.

This is your first playing card project on Kickstarter. Why Kicksatrter?
Why Kickstarter, even before I had the Glassback idea I had a thing for Kickstarter. I have read tons and tons of articles on Kickstarter and have view hundreds if not thousands of projects. Kickstarter is the perfect platform to bring a community together for a good cause: really cool ideas. Doesn’t get much better than that and once I found my excuse to make a Kickstarter of my own, I jumped on it. 

What is your inspiration behind the Glassback Playing Cards? How did you come up with the idea?
Here’s the thing. The first time I showed our first design to the playing card community it got ripped to shreds. No one liked the colors. So we changed the designs to what they currently are. The second time around people loved them. The most common statement I heard was wow that looks like stained glass. Once the designer and I caught the drift we changed the design even more to embody this theme and we have not looked back since! Plus we have been getting great feedback on the name, Glassback. I love the way it sounds and looks and I hope everyone else does too! Believe it or not, the name was one of the hardest parts of making this deck. I lost a lot of sleep over the name of this project!

Walk us through the process you took to design this unique deck. How did you get to this finished product?
I sat down with my designer, Hyun Yoo, and we looked through her entire portfolio. She really had some amazing work but I didn't see much that I could picture on a playing card, until the end of our meeting. We finally found a piece that looked like it could work. We used this piece as our inspiration. Our first few tries at making a design failed miserably but we stuck with it until we found something that people liked and appreciated. Feedback was crucial in the design process. Without honest feedback the design would be much different than it is now. We did focus groups and feedback sessions and those really helped shape the final design.

What was your most brilliant breakthrough when designing the deck?
This is another interesting story. Our biggest breakthrough was realizing that our first design was awful. Once we realized this, we worked with what we had to make something that people actually liked. Criticism and feedback was key. We wanted to make something not too minimal but not too complex yet was still bold and eye catching. I think we did just that.

With all the projects competing for funding, why should potential backers choose the Glassback deck? 
The next time you pull out a deck of card I want people to turn their heads and say, “wow I have never seen a deck of cards quite like that.” I wanted to create something bold and out there. Something different. Let’s be honest here, the current trend is to slap a logo on a card and call it deck. I wanted to break that trend and create something different. The tuck box for the Glassback Deck is completely unique and holds within it a powerful tool, high quality unique playing cards. Whether you’re a cardist, magician, or gambler, the Glassback deck will add to your craft.

Finally, what are your favourite playing card decks?
Oooooo, I’ve been waiting to answer this one. I am a cardist at heart so I have to say that the blue sealed old stuff (Tallys, Bicycles, Aristocrats) are my favorites. I love the way the older decks feel. I am working closely with the EPCC to get a great feeling stock for the Glassbacks. As far as some of the more modern stuff I love D&D’s new Antler deck. It matches the look and feel of an older deck, really cool.

Thank you for your time, Simon and all the best! At the time of writing, the project is 59% funded with 28 days to go. If want to support the Glassback deck, you can find it on Kickstarter here

Pledge starts from $12 and the deck will be printed by the EPCC. There are multiple add-ons available such as uncut sheets and signed posters.
Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Simon Bruno of the Glassback Playing Cards Reviewed by Ivan on 4/16/2015 Rating: 5

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