At the start of this year I was lucky enough to be chosen to take part in the IBM Wild Ducks Playing Cards (Third edition). This deck featured 55 designers from all over the world, who each worked on a different card (+ the design of the box) to match the theme "The New Roaring 20's".
The brief
Apart from matching the theme, which was done to interpretation, the cards needed to work both "right side up" and "up side down". It also had to reference or include the suit and number of the card, in my case, this was the 6 of clubs.
Initial sketches
Initial exploration
My initial concept was to feature a peacock in my design, as this was an animal featured heavily in art deco design. I initially wanted to hide a 6 in the form of the peacock, as well as to create the shape of a 6 in the overall form. This is something I veered away in future iterations, as it felt a bit forced.
First concepts. Whereas I was reasonably happy with the shape of the peacock, the 6 was taking too much attention away.
Once I finessed the illustration, it was time to experiment with colours and texture. I wished to veer away from the typical black and gold 20's palette, to ensure my card looked different from others in the deck. 
Final designs
After I was happy with the green background, I realised that although the peacock could work upside down, there was a clear and obvious right way up. This final change took a while to realise, but made a much more interesting card, as well as one that fit the brief better. 
The design includes numerous clubs, hidden in the tail and head of the peacocks, as well as 6, written in Braille, as a nod to my interest in accessibility and Braille publication.
As an avid board game enthusiast, designing a playing card deck was always a dream. Designing one card as part of this collaboration was an honour, and as the initiative started pre-COVID, but ended during the height of the pandemic, it proved that working as a team globally was entirely possible.
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