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Kickstarter: 3 Questions with Zak Hachemi of Abstract Playing Cards


Conceptualized by Zak Hachemi and designed by Gart Gartsman, Abstract Playing Cards are inspired by Bauhaus style and Gart and Zak's love for geometry, perfect ratios, and relationships between shapes.

Zak, a medicine student discovered Cardistry through magic seven years ago and he switched to cardistry four years ago after seeing a Cardistry video while searching some magic tricks to learn. Zak wanted the perfect tool for everyday life, something eye-catching, the perfect deck for cardistry, but which could help him perform some magic trick occasionally. He started asking people on Instagram and learning everything he could on custom playing cards. 2 years ago, Zak decided to officially start his project.

Earlier this week, we had a chat with Zak about the inspiration behind Abstract playing cards, the community, and his favorite flourish and deck.


1. What is your inspiration behind the Abstract Playing Cards? How did you come up with the idea and how did you end up collaborating with Gart?
As I wanted to create my own deck of cards, I needed to start designing, so I started learning basic graphic design online. When trying to design some back designs I naturally came up with geometric designs I decided to keep it this way. I wanted something deep, and eye-pleasing which could be liked not only by myself but by others too, so I decided to contact some graphic designers in order to have a complete professional looking deck. I found Gart on Instagram and he was literally the best graphic designer I’ve found and the most enthusiastic about this project.


When doing research for the cards to see what other people have done, we did notice that there were a decent handful of geometric themed designs out there. Most of them felt very arbitrary and didn't have much thought towards the relationship of the shapes and creating anything more than a bunch of points connected to each other. When we first talked he was just really unimpressed by the geometric playing card designs that were out there, so we needed to make something that would blow all of them out of the water. Because he’s primarily a brand designer and does mostly logos, that need for easily recognizable shapes and forms bled into his thinking for the design. The entire Abstract design is built out of a perfect square grid. All the shapes take up a perfect square and can move around and lock into any other space. There’s a modality to it. That’s how Abstracts has been thought.


2. We first noticed Abstract Playing Cards on Instagram. What do you think of the cardistry community in terms of the feedback and support that you’ve been getting so far?
Instagram seems to be a social network made for cardists. As it’s a media-based social network, it’s the perfect place for cardists to share the photos of their new decks or to showcase their new moves, I think this explains why the community is just insanely huge on Instagram. Most cardists are really kind and here to help, you’ll always find some people to help you when creating/perfecting your moves or simply just learning someone else’s moves, I’ve bought, sold, traded some decks, I’ve never faced any issue with the community.


3. Finally, what are your favorite flourish and playing card decks? 
I really like the classics such as Pandora but I love the modern looking cardistry such a @Nicolasupertramp’s moves or @julienmscrd’s ones. In terms of decks it depends on what we’re talking about the feeling: the Wynn’s without any hesitation they just feel perfect in my opinion, they stay in packets, they’re not too slippery. I wish we could still produce some decks with this quality!
I love fully custom decks, but if I want standard faces, I'll go with the bikes and I’ll be done. My favorite deck of the moment is DIVA playing cards, as it keeps the concept from Abstract while using them in a different way!


The team at Abstract would like to bring some fresh designs into the cardistry community, by releasing new concepts or by reintroducing their own interpretation of concepts which have already been used. Zak mentioned in closing,
We have a lot of deck projects in development and we would love to see them become a reality. I’m thanking everyone who have been supporting abstract from the very beginning, and who I’m still seeing liking our posts or commenting. That’s really awesome to get this support from people who got the same passion as you and we couldn’t have reached this point without their help.
If you liked what you read here and would like to support Abstract Playing Cards, head to Kickstarter here! Pledge starts at €11 (USD$13) and the deck will be printed by Cartamundi on their famous B9 True Linen Finish.
Kickstarter: 3 Questions with Zak Hachemi of Abstract Playing Cards Reviewed by Ivan Choe on 6/09/2018 Rating: 5

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