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Cardistry: 7 Questions with Paul Robaia of Casual v2 Playing Cards


Sleek, modern and stylish. Casual v2 is the second edition of Casual Playing Cards designed by Paul Robaia. Crafted for the magicians and cardists in mind, the deck feature a clean geometric back-design with a spectrum of true Pantone and spot colors: mint green, metallic gold, black, and white.

The simplified face cards and recolored courts beautifully complement the minimal back design. Handcrafted by Clove Street Press, the tuck box has been offset printed and embossed on alternating triangles, giving a sense of dimension and depth.


Just prior to the release, we were able to catch-up with Paul for a quick Q&A about himself, the inspiration & design process behind the Casual v2 and his future deck releases.

For those of us who don’t know, tell us a little about yourself?
Hi. I’m Paul Robaia. I am 22 years old, from San Diego, and am a senior at The University of California San Diego. I work for Mellenbogen, Art of Play, and Art of Magic. For Mellenbogen, a San Diego based filming company, I am the video editor. For Art of Play and Art of Magic, I am a video editor, social media manager, and shipper. I also perform a close-up magic show every other weekend at The Magic Castle in Hollywood.

Can you describe Casuals v2 Playing Cards? and why you are passionate about it?
Casual V2’s are a geometric, modern design. It features an ideal, two-way back design with popping Pantone colors, including mint green and metallic gold. The deck also features minimal court cards, paying homage to the classic Smoke and Mirrors courts. The tuck case has been printed by a San Diego Letterpress company called, Clove Street Press; there are embossing and blind embossing on the tuck. I am passionate about Casual V2 Playing Cards because they are the successor to my first ever printed deck of cards, Casual V1. It has evolved so much over time, and now, I have a product that I feel is as good as can be.


Talk to us a bit about going from the Casuals v1 to Casuals v2. How did you get to this finished product?
Casual V2 Playing Cards are the successor to Casual V1’s, which came out in June of 2016. However, I came up with the initial prototype in late 2015; the prototype had a slightly different design, but more so, it had a less appealing color palette than the first edition print. The second edition is the culmination of experience and growth as a playing card designer. The design has improved immensely, and instead of abandoning my initial idea or limiting Casuals to a one edition print, I invested more time into the product to refine it tenfold and to offer a now, greatly improved product.

What was your most brilliant breakthrough when designing the deck?
I don’t know if I would classify it as brilliant, but a noticeable change that I made to the second edition design that I was not able to achieve in the first edition is a seamless back design. Unlike the first edition, the second edition back cannot be split with a straight, horizontal line at the halfway point. It, instead, is seamless.


We first noticed Casuals v2 on Instagram. What do you think of the playing card community in terms of the feedback and support that you’ve been getting so far on the social media platform?
The community has been very kind and receptive to my posts and BCA’s post about my cards on Instagram. There has been plentiful support from people throughout the entire world, and this instills thankfulness and appreciation with inside me.

Casuals, Flora and now Casuals v2… What’s next? Can we expect more deck designs in the future?
Of course, you can expect more decks from me in the future! I am coming out with Black Floras next, but in the future, I will put out new designs too.


Finally, what are your favorite playing cards?
My favorite playing cards are Blue Seal, Tally Ho Circle-backs, printed in Ohio. The cards not only look amazing but, also, feel amazing.

I want to give a huge thank you to Paul for taking the time to talk with us. Hope to see more cool decks from you in the future.


Casuals v2 Playing Cards are printed by the USPCC with embossed finish (Casino Quality) and are available now from .paperclubs.com for $14.

Images by Mellenbogen, Sean Olsen, and Adam Borderline. Provided and used with permission from Paul Robaia.
Cardistry: 7 Questions with Paul Robaia of Casual v2 Playing Cards Reviewed by Ivan Choe on 3/12/2018 Rating: 5

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