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Ravn (2016)

Ravn (2016)


In late 2015 I kicked off my first collaboration with a professional magician from Sweden, Caroline Ravn.

At that point, my portfolio lacked standard decks, so the main challenge revolved around creating a distinctive back design. This aspect was particularly crucial since magicians need decks that don’t draw attention during their performances. The go-to choice for many magicians is the Bicycle Rider Back, available in blue and red. It’s easily the most recognized and used deck, a reliable staple for practice and performance.

For the color scheme of the back designs, I proposed using petrol green (or dark teal) and crimson red. These colors deviated from the usual red and blue but created a striking contrast, as they’re complementary colors. The idea was to keep the colors flat and simple, without gradients or textures, similar to the Bicycle Rider Back. This flexibility allowed for quick color changes in potential future variants, while preserving the overall coherence. Throughout the design process, I employed vector art for geometric shapes and straight lines. Some parts, however, were hand-drawn and later digitized.

As for the tuckbox, we decided to get creative with the letters and craft an ambigram of the name “RAVN.”

While the court cards could closely resemble those from the Bicycle deck, my focus was on refining specific elements. There were issues with the designs on the Bicycle court cards that had always bothered me, especially the outdated illustrations. Rectifying these minor problems to maintain a classic look seemed like a no-brainer. The Ravn deck intentionally follows a standard design, with faces resembling the classic Bicycle decks. I made some adjustments to all the court cards while maintaining their classic appearance. The USPCC design shows signs of automatic digital tracing (from raster to vector), which can distort shapes if the source image on paper isn’t high resolution. Over the years, the transition from analog to digital in the late ‘90s may have caused some minor aberrations in specific areas.

The Ravn deck was printed by USPCC on classic Bicycle paper stock. For the tuckbox, we selected pearlized paper with embossed areas. The campaign went smoothly, and we were able to offer a Ravn mini deck as an add-on or included in specific reward tiers. 

 Funded with Kickstarter in 2016
3047 decks manufactured by USPC Co.
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