Kickstarter: Royal Optik Playing Cards by Uusi

16 May

Two artistic styles – Op Art and Woodcut – come together to create one completely original playing card deck. Uusi (Blue Blood, Bohemia Playing Cards) started its third playing card project on Kickstarter. The deck will be printed by USPCC on Bicycle playing card stock with an Air Cushion Finish.


Royal Optik is an entirely custom deck of playing cards and the third deck in a planned, six deck series from Uusi (Peter Dunham and Linnea Gits).

Their inspiration for this deck came from two sources. Peter and Linnea chose a woodcut style for the faces, hands and weapons of the court because it has such an expressive, traditional look and used the more precise geometric style of Op Art to create the shapes, postures and costumes of the court characters. Both use negative space to create volume and movement, but differ greatly in how they express it.

All the court faces and hands were penciled in by Linnea, while Peter happily sketched out weapons and used his steady drafting skills to hand-ink both his and Linnea’s pencil sketches in a woodcut style. The bodies were created by Linnea, cutting out geometric shapes from fields of blue-green black and warm reds that they first painted on printmaking paper and then scanned into the computer. Combining these two styles and techniques gave Royal Optik a traditional yet edgy-modern look.

They are careful to make sure the pips and indicies are not only pleasing in their design layout, but that they are easy to read – so playing cards are playable. Uusi has kept all the traditional elements of the court cards most used in games such as poker: two one-eyed Jacks (Spades and Hearts), the “Suicide King” (Hearts, with sword “through” head) and the “Man with the Axe” (King of Diamonds). Also they created a signature Joker unique to the Royal Optik court.

For the Queen of Hearts I chose my Mom’s perfect (to me!) face because it is so open, inviting and winning. Madeline is quite the honorable woman and so close to my heart that she could only be the Queen of Hearts. My Dad, Remi, made the cut as well thanks to his outlaw eyes. I love how direct and fearless, yet kind they look. They ended up on the King of Clubs.

Royal Optik Mascot? Ok…our cat, T Mobile, (he likes to roam), may not look exactly like a tiger, but he has all the regal attitude of one! I couldn’t resist re-imagining him as the bad-ass tiger he thinks he is on our Royal Optik Ad cards.” ~ Linnea

The deck:

  • Fifty-two playing cards and two jokers – all with original artwork;
  • Two illustrated Uusi Design ad cards that form a diptych;
  • Should be printed by the United States Playing Card Company (USPCC) in a run of 5000 decks;
  • Made on Bicycle playing card stock with an Air Cushion Finish;
  • Linen/embossed finish on tuck box.


You could pledge here: [Funded on June 17, 2013]


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