Louisville Magazine

AUG 2014

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 8.14 111 Te beginning of Deeb's lucky streak came from a friend's good fortune. Curtis Jinkins, a designer in Austin, Texas, got a com- mission to design a few playing cards but not a full deck. Te assignment intrigued Deeb. "Tink about it," he says. "You have the package, royalty and fools, and a template that would remind a person of the soul." At this point, he had run out of work and needed something to inspire him. Te jack of spades was his frst design. Each card took him days to fnish, and he began to make connections within the suits — the hearts and spades becoming characters. What makes the design new is all in the details. Each illustration is a work of art; they follow all the rules of traditional playing cards, but Deeb has refned them by using balance and slender lines. He invented his own typeface based on Atlantis (one of the oldest typefaces known) by making it sleeker and more modern. Te cards tell sto- ries: a king with a death wish, a wounded jack, a queen hopeless in romance. A person could play with them for hours and never notice these subtle design elements, but once you see them clearly you could look at the deck as a fne work of art, sort of like an Eames chair. "I knew that I wanted them to be darker, to feel sad and to have confict, because after everything that had happened I had a somewhat fatalistic perspective," Deeb says. "It ofers a micro view of life in one small illustration: the ideas of fate and death and that we are not here forever." In October 2012, Deeb began a campaign on the popular crowd-funding site Kickstarter. Te hope was to raise $6,000 for an initial printing. Te campaign, featuring Deeb and his family, brought in $146,000. It changed his life. After fulflling the initial 13,000 orders, Deeb considered going back to freelance work, but ultimately, he has decided that he is all in. Te Misc. Goods Co.'s website sells the playing cards, plus a beautiful case for the deck made of cherry and mahogany woods, a leather strap and a brass button. "I am proud of them," Deeb says. "Tese cards have gone all over the world and will be a part of every culture. Tey need no text to tell their story or for them to be of use, and that lets me know that I have done my job well. Anyone, anywhere, will be comfortable with this design; they are as universal as a product can be. Can you tell me of another product that does that?" Do you have an interesting design story? Do you have a friend who has an amazing home? Do you make something wonderful? Tell writer Jon Lee Cope about it at editorial@loumag.com, subject: Architecture and Design. Poker photos of Deeb by Ted Tarquinio

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