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Kickstarter: 7 Questions Deryn Le of Fresh Cuts Playing Cards


From the creative mind of Deryn Le, the man behind Noodlers playing cards comes, comes a barber shop/hair stylist-themed deck, Fresh Cuts Playing Cards. Vintage barbershop typeface logo, barber pole, hair stylists and barbers are all packed in this fully custom deck.

The deck was born from a thought of trying to give his personal barber a gift and now turned into an homage to those who keep us looking our best. According to Deryn on the campaign page,
I went to my barber to get a haircut some time ago. During this session, he asked me about the card collecting addiction I have. I explained to him that I'm a magician, which lead to collecting playing cards. He also asked about my I'mPossible Bottles. As I sat there getting my hair cut, I rummaged through my brain on which deck I could bottle for him to display on his station. Nothing came to mind.

Deryn has always loved the vintage look of classic barbershop logos and their storefront. The letter styling with all the embellishments and ornamentation was always beautiful to him. This is what he wanted to capture within Fresh Cuts playing cards.

To find out more about this delightful deck, we had a quick chat with Deryn about his design background, inspiration, and design process behind Fresh Cuts.

For those of us who don’t know, can you tell us about yourself and what is your design background?
I'm Vietnamese, born and raised in the US. I started practicing magic when I was 11.. which was 29 years ago 😳. My design background started in '97 when my friend gave me a copy of Photoshop. I've been messing with it ever since. In 2007, I became Tampa's Seminole Hard Rock Casino's first resident magician with help from my agent. In the same year, Daniel Madison contacted me to create an ambigram for his DVD, "Dangerous" and then again for his PDF "Madness."

Can you describe Fresh Cuts Playing Cards and why you’re passionate about it?
My wife and I started brainstorming about Fresh Cuts even before Noodlers. But we knew we wanted to take our time because it was more of a tribute deck for everyone that's in that field.


Walk us through the process you took to design the deck. How did you come out with the idea and how did you get to this finished product?
Fresh Cuts came out of necessity. I craft impossible bottles and when I custom a deck as a gift, I like to use a deck reflects the profession or passion of the person I'm giving it to. I wanted to give one to my barber but I couldn't find anything hair related other than a few mustache decks. Those just weren't what I was looking for. The main thing we wanted to capture was the old, vintage feel of classic hair salons and barbershops. Also, after some thought, I decided to commission a great artist to draw the courts in the likeness of some close friends. I can paint and draw, I just thought her style better fit this particular deck. Her name is Gaby (Instagram: @doodle_traffic). She's fantastic! We knew it had to have a barber pole.. it just HAD to. Kiana, my wife, who is the Queen of Hearts on the deck, had the idea of adding tools coming out the top and bottom of the barber pole. Adding embellishments really tied it all together.


What was your most brilliant breakthrough when designing the deck?
Deciding to have my friends as the courts! It was a hard decision on who to use because I didn't want anyone to feel left out. Unfortunately, we have a male-dominated demographic and I didn't want to put any men on the queens, which is why 2 of the queens are fictional characters. But simply having them on the courts wasn't enough. I wanted all of us to be hairstylists. Also the courts nod back to standard courts in the way they face and which hand is holding what.


We first noticed Fresh Cuts Playing Cards on Instagram. What do you think of the community in terms of the feedback and support that you’ve been getting?
I've gotten a lot of great feedback for the Fresh Cuts. I know not all cards are for everyone so I don't expect everyone to invest in them and that's fine. I just hope to those that do want to invest in them, I did a good enough job to earn their business.

Noodlers, Fresh Cuts… What’s next? Can we expect more deck designs in the future?
ABSOLUTELY! I'm currently helping a couple of friends with their decks. Both are retro are completely different. I've also been wanting to design a deck that uses standard courts. What better way than to do a casino-style deck? For me, those will be next and I plan on using foil on the backs to make them pop. I think I came up with the perfect name for the fictional casino I have in my head. Also, I'm going to do something I personally haven't seen done before in a deck. It's a small change, but something that needs to be done for my casino deck. You'll see!


Finally, what are your favorite playing cards? 
My favorite everyday decks, the ones I constantly shuffle, cut and dribble are Hydrogen and Oxygen by Nick Nisco.

My favorite working decks are Tally-Ho circle or fan backs. As a magician, spectators already assume we use trick decks so why even bother using a deck they've never seen before.

My favorite collectible decks are Thirdway Industries & Kings Wild Project.

Thank you for your time Deryn! If you like what you've read here and want to support Fresh Cuts Playing Cards, you can find it on Kickstarter Here! 


Three different editions of Fresh Cuts will be available during the campaign, Standard, Vintage, and Gilded. Standard Edition sports a full-color tuck with vibrant reds and blues, while the Vintage Edition will be an aged version of the Standard edition. The Gilded Edition comes with a black and blue tuck and the cards inside will be the Vintage edition but will have blue holographic gilding.


The decks will be printed by United States Playing Card Company on Premium Stock with Linen Finish and Traditional Cut.  Pledge starts at $12 on Kickstarter.

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Kickstarter: 7 Questions Deryn Le of Fresh Cuts Playing Cards Reviewed by Ivan on 5/27/2020 Rating: 5

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