Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Bao Magic of Instant Noodles Playing Cards

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Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Bao Magic of Instant Noodles Playing Cards

Instant Noodles Playing Cards is a fun and classy take on the popular instant noodles conceptualized by Bao Magic (Instagram: @baomagic) as part of his BaoBao Restaurant series. Currently funding on Kickstarter, the deck features a unique packaging and sleek card design. Instant Noodles comes in a predominantly red, yellow, and black color palette Inspired by the traditional colors found in many Asian cultures.

Inside, the back design features a sleek noodle pattern with a pair of red chopsticks. The borderless design mimics the look of a dry bloc of noodles and allows for great looking spread and fans. Each suit features a noodle pattern with a non-traditional placement of the pips on the number cards. The enlarged Aces highlight the details of each suit. The traditional courts have been updated with the Royals now interacting with elements related to instant noodles, giving the deck both an amusing and cohesive appearance.

Two extra cards are included in the deck featuring a soup base and a dry vegetable packet. A set of seasoning packets stickers will also be included with each pack of Instant Noodles Playing Cards. The deck is packaged in a typical-looking instant noodles-inspired tuck. The tuck is added into a resealable plastic bag to make the unboxing experience resemble as close to a pack of instant noodles as possible.

We had a quick chat with Bao last week about the design, inspiration, and design process behind Instant Noodles Playing Cards.

For those of us who don’t know, can you tell us about yourself and what is your design background?
I’m a magician and cardist from Montreal, Canada. My strong interest in card magic eventually led me to start practicing cardistry after watching the Virts’ “Reintroduction” video back in 2007. These two passions naturally led me to get into collecting playing cards.

My creative background came from 5 years of experience in the digital marketing industry. As a creative director for a digital marketing agency, ad campaigns, photography, videography, and graphic design are a part of my day-to-day. I had the opportunity to work with Meko Deng and Angga Tantama who helped me with the illustration of the Instant Noodles playing cards.

Can you describe Instant Noodles Playing Cards and why you’re passionate about it?
Everything about the Instant Noodles Playing Cards has been designed to resemble closely to a pack of instant noodles as possible while preserving key aesthetics that magicians and card collectors would still appreciate such as the court cards, the suits, and the pips placement.

Instant noodles have been a long staple for many people and myself. With this deck's nostalgic design, it's sure to remind you of the delicious simplicity of instant noodles. This project was my way of incorporating a piece of Asian culture by combining my love for instant noodles, and playing cards.

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?
The whole idea of this deck initially started as a joke. A friend eventually convinced me that it was actually a good idea to pursue. Coming back from Cardistry-Con in 2019, the whole experience motivated me to start working on my concept. I then reached out to my friend Meko who illustrated the court cards, jokers, and I had the help of Angga who illustrated my concept for the back of the cards and the box.

What was your most brilliant breakthrough when designing the deck?
The back of the card was the most challenging element to design. Several drafts have been made along the way and after vectorizing one of the suggested drafts, we had to scrap the design because it felt too messy (imagine the squiggly pattern of a dry bloc of instant noodles). We finally chose to go with a better and sleeker pattern which is what you now see on the box and on the back of the cards.

While I love designs with borders, we felt that it made more sense to opt for a borderless design since it emphasizes the experience of unwrapping a pack of instant noodles. They also look great in fans and spread! We can also agree that the Instant Noodles stand out due to its unique packaging. While I wanted to use the same bag as a regular pack of instant noodles, I concluded that using a snug fitting resealable plastic bag (which is also recyclable!) was the best reusable option.

We first noticed Instant Noodle Playing Cards on Instagram. What do you think of the community in terms of support that you’ve been getting and the feedback about the deck being similar to Noodlers Playing Cards funded a few months earlier?
I am so grateful for the amazing community of magicians, cardists, and card collectors who helped spread the word on social media. The community’s incredible support helped me reach my funding goal in under 6 hours, which is something I couldn’t have imagined for my first Kickstarter campaign.

As for this deck’s similarities to the Noodlers Playing Cards, Deryn had addressed this on an Instagram story and a post. As soon as I found out that Deryn was also working on a deck with the same concept, I reached out to him immediately and shared the progress of my almost complete design. We both agreed that while our ideas were similar, the designs were completely different. Since our initial interaction, we’ve both been very supportive of each other.

What’s next? Can we expect more addition to the BaoBao Restaurant?
Yes, this is only the beginning! The next project will be a surprise.

Finally, what are your favorite playing cards? 
My all-time favorite deck has always been the Monarchs by Theory11. As a magician, it is the deck that I regularly use when I’m performing. Everything about the design from the back design to the foiled box is so elegant. If there is a deck that can become as iconic and timeless as the Bicycle Rider Backs, I believe that the next modern classic would have to be the Monarchs.

Thank you for your time Bao and congratulations on hitting the funding goal quickly on Kickstarter

Instant Noodle Playing Cards will be printed by the USPCC with Air-Cushion Finish. Pledge starts at $12 for a single deck on Kickstarter. Don't miss out!

Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Bao Magic of Instant Noodles Playing Cards Reviewed by Ivan on 7/10/2020 Rating: 5

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