Insights //

One more please

Every trainee is allowed to work on his own project in the first year of his apprenticeship. I was given the choice between a photo calendar, where I could take the photos myself, shoot, edit and later put them together into a calendar, or the opportunity to design my own card game. I chose the card game.

A lot of questions run through my head: Which card game should it be? In what kind of topic can I design the card game? What should the symbols look like? Which font? So I started thinking and doing some research. It quickly became clear to me that it was going to be a poker card game. And when it came to choosing a topic, I had so many ideas that I couldn't decide anymore: Should I represent my favorite anime? A book that I like to read? Should it create a creepy underwater atmosphere, because I love the sea and horror so much? Or fantasy? Murder mystery? Outer space? These are all things I like, how could I have made up my mind quickly?

After asking each of my friends for an opinion, I decided for a mixture of fantasy and space.

It was immediately clear to me that I would like to have different planets from our solar system, each with matching fantasy figures. For the planets, I decided on Mars, Venus, Saturn and Pluto. Even if, I know, Pluto is only considered a dwarf planet now. Since all planets have different genders, properties and so on, I chose the right figures: Mars, named after the Roman god of war, is inhabited by orcs, the figure, who is considered very muscular and aggressive.That was a perfect fit for me. Venus, the planet of love and beauty, looked to me like a small, petite elf. Saturn was very difficult for me, it was named after the Roman god of wealth and the earth. I didn't know exactly what kind of fantasy figure could fit there, so I decided to let wizards inhabit it, somehow that suited me :-). Since he was the only one I didn't know exactly which figure would fit best, I tried to use the wizard's rings of the gas planet and therefore gave him a small crown made out of the rings of Saturn. Pluto, named after the Roman god of the underworld, is a dwarf planet . And accordingly I chose dwarfs to go with it. I adapted the clothes of the four dwarfs to the colors of the planets, as well as the symbols of hearts, spades, clubs and diamonds.

After the idea was set, the creative part of it all really started. I made sketches for the outfits and weapons of the characters and drew different versions of the symbols and the back side of the cards. I wanted the deck of cards to be international, so I chose King instead of König, Queen instead of Königin and Jack instead of Bube. I quickly noticed a problem: The figures for the respective planet all have only one gender, so it doesn't make any sense to have a king and a queen who would both have to be male orcs, for example. So instead of using the usual terms, I came up with the idea of ​​simply thinking about new ones with the same initial letters. King became „Kill“ (killing), Queen „Quiver“ (trembling with fear) and Jack „Joy“ (joy). My plan was to illustrate these characters in their respective moods.

I started with the rough sketches of all the figures and then scanned the twelve pieces. I retraced them in Photoshop using the graphics tablet and colored them.

I worked on the drawings for several weeks. When they were finished I took care of the layout, selected the right font and pondered about the symbols. With Laureen's help, who supported me throughout the project, we then came up with a nice and harmonious-looking layout.

Then we thought about the background color. We tried out different dark gray tones and ultimately decided mainly on white. And since Laureen liked it so much in the dark shade of gray, we had two decks printed in the dark gray (80% black) we had chosen from the start: one for VISUELL and one for me.

On the back it was immediately clear to me that this would be the solar system in which only the represented planets are shown.

On the side, I did a little research where we can have the decks professionally produced. We had an American company (makeplayingcards.com) and a German company (meinspiel.de) to choose from. Later we decided on the German game manufacturer because it seemed a little more professional to us.

The whole project started at the end of September and should be finished by Christmas at the latest, so I could hold all the card decks in my hand and have a special christmas gift for my siblings and parents.

I was able to live out my love of drawing really well in the project. In particular drawing with the graphics tablet was a cool and new experience. I am very proud and happy about my deck of cards and have only received good feedback so far.