Animal Kingdom Cards

Custom Card Deck Design Illustrated by me!

The idea was to create a deck of cards with a unique theme. Designing a deck of cards sounds as easy as copy-and-paste, but the challenge was to create a deck where no two cards are the same (52 unique cards). This deck includes 4 suits (symbolized by footprints), and features appropriate animals known for their roles in the Animal Kingdom (Lion = King, Elephant = Queen, etc.)

Inspiration for card designs

As seen above, my original inspiration was heavily influenced by symmetrically-designed face cards. I started with more geometric designs, but after trying the symmetrical idea, I decided that was what I wanted to do. Before I finally landed on the animal idea for good, I experimented with doing a weird idea where I mixed similar body parts together to create a design that was both symmetrical AND asymmetrical at the same time. After realizing the limitations of the theme, I decided to leave that idea behind too (I still enjoy the sketches that came out of it though). I initially wanted to go for the basic suit shapes, but with the animals popping in/out of the the 2D/3D space, it proved to be too difficult for the time allotted for this project.

Initial Sketches showcasing my original thoughts for theme ideas

Once I decided on the theme, the rest of the design process came naturally to me. I created a rough draft of the card designs for feedback from my peers, and I couldn't thank them enough for their helpful tips! Before the feedback, I wasn't sure exactly how I could get the elephant to be recognizable and symmetrical at the same time, and the Wolf was the only animal with an outline, which separated him from the rest of the animals visually. The number cards were intended to be marks left by the animals, the backs were simple, yet too complicated, and the font I used was too messy and didn't have any numbers available, reverting them to the nasty default placeholders. 

Refined Sketches & First Draft of Card Designs

Once I decided on the theme, the rest of the design process came naturally to me. I created a rough draft of the card designs for feedback from my peers, and I couldn't thank them enough for their helpful tips! Before the feedback, I wasn't sure exactly how I could get the elephant to be recognizable and symmetrical at the same time, and the Wolf was the only animal with an outline, which separated him from the rest of the animals visually. The number cards were intended to be marks left by the animals, the backs were simple, yet too complicated, and the font I used was too messy and didn't have any numbers available, reverting them to the nasty default placeholders. 

Final Card Design w/ Color Palette

While creating the order at makeplayingcards.com, I viewed some of the website's more expensive options, and the engraved wooden box & golden card edges seemed like something that would match my card deck's theme perfectly! I had the wooden box engraved with the design from the back of the cards, since I felt that it was underused in the deck itself, and the gold edges/gloss on the cards made the cards feel as royal as ever! I was shocked with how great they turned out, and couldn't have asked for anything better!

Wooden Box engraved with back design

Cards showcased with their Box

595be70d-67ca-40cd-a5bb-25ff011a5b35_rw_1920.jpg

Golden edges on cards (Product enlarged to show detail)