Skip to content
Close (esc)

Subscribe for updates

Monthly newsletter with the news and the releases of the new projects.

Requiem Autumn and Winter (2014)

Requiem Autumn and Winter (2014)

"A Requiem or Requiem Mass, also known as Mass for the dead (Latin: Missa pro defunctis) or Mass of the dead (Latin: Missa defunctorum), is a Mass celebrated for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons, using a particular form of the Roman Missal. It is frequently, but not necessarily, celebrated in the context of a funeral." [source: Wikipedia]

The Requiem Playing Cards project tells the chronicles of a lost love, suddenly lost without too much explanation. In the summer of 2013, my heart was broken and I had to cope with it. Almost everybody has been through such an event once in their lifetime, and everyone had to find a way to move on, heal, and grow. Art was my way out. I decided to channel the negative feelings and transform them into art on custom-designed playing cards. The structure of a poker deck provides space for a story in chronological order.
When the 56th card was ready, specifically the 3rd joker, Celebration, the catharsis was complete. It was the celebration of the Requiem Mass for my perished feelings. I managed to escape those dark days of a cold summer through this artistic endeavor. This is what made the project successful, together with the entire design and illustrations. A broken heart became the catalyst for this project.

Every aspect of the deck has been taken into consideration, from the single pip to the inner print of the tuckbox. The number cards are quite standard, but the four suits have been altered. The court cards and the aces represent specific negative feelings, and on a worn ribbon is written in Latin what feeling it represents. The 55th card shows what each card means, and the Roman numerals are dates representing specific calendar days of 2013.

At the beginning, I designed just two jokers, depicting myself and her. A few versions were made and then discarded. In the end, I opted for the one with the swallow caught by a soulless, empty, porcelain doll with a crow on her head. I’ve been very careful not to disclose the name, and of course, the subject is totally unaware of this project. This is a personal process that helped me to move on and heal.

As with any project, I spent weeks meticulously sketching, testing, and designing different layouts, with the majority of my work ending up discarded and unseen by others. 

Selecting the final design or illustrations is always a challenging decision that involves relinquishing other ideas. The design process itself took several months, and proved to be a cathartic and therapeutic process.

The pips on the number cards received special treatment, with each of them featuring a unique distress depending on their suit. Diamonds appear cracked like dry soil, clubs are split by thorns, hearts are broken, and spades resemble dried leaves. Instead of repetition, each pip has its own distinct alteration.

The first design of the tuckbox was significantly different, and the Requiem logo had not yet been conceptualized.

I personally printed, cut, and assembled the initial tuckbox design, and ordered a prototype of the deck (cards only) from an Italian print-on-demand service. Unfortunately, the quality of the cards was subpar, but the prototype served its intended purpose of generating interest and showcasing the deck’s potential. It is always wise to print out graphics to test colors, create mock-ups, and order prototypes.


The ‘Prototype 00’ had a very different layout and graphics, and eventually, this option was discarded. The final tuckbox design depicts a crying ram and a bold logo, resembling the style of a hard rock or metal music band. The choice of a bichromatic color scheme intended to create a significant contrast between the outside and the cards, with a blood-red background on all faces. This contrast applies to each card, as the back design matches the color scheme of the tuckbox.

At the time, I had been using the nickname Designkiller as a sort of online portfolio to showcase my past works and illustrations. It wasn’t until late 2014 that I decided to consolidate all my custom playing cards under the same name, giving birth to the Stockholm17 brand.

Nevertheless, the most important aspect was that Requiem Playing Cards resonated with collectors and was highly regarded by the community. The positive feedback I received from this experience served as a driving force in the creation of Stockholm17 Playing Cards.


 Funded with Kickstarter in 2014
5500 decks manufactured by USPCC


Older Post
Newer Post


Back to top

Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty

Shop now