Monday, August 22, 2011

Anime Tarot: Last Stop Before Moving On

In June, I wrote about the end of the journey to complete the Anime Tarot set. When I wrote that, the last two cards were nearing completion. At that time, I thought I was finally through with the set. Over the three and a half years it took me to finish the set, I got a lot of requests for the set as an actual deck of cards. I thought it was a good idea, so I resolved to look into it when I finished drawing the set.

When I posted the the Anime Tarot journey was over, I felt that the hard part was done--the hard part being getting all 78 cards drawn. Seriously, how difficult could it be to get a printer to print the cards? I might need to do a little editing, but nothing major, right? Little did I know what I was getting myself into. The first hurdle I encountered was that most printers are not equipped to print card decks. They could print business cards, postcards, or any other sized "card" I wanted, but the best I could get there would be square-cornered "prints" on card stock with no coating or finish. This was not what I was looking for. After a lot of poking around and calling, I came up with a list of about a half a dozen places that specialized in printing card decks. Working through that list of places, I narrowed it down to two. This process was easy as only two companies had the correct contact information on their website and bothered to answer their phone. One was based in the UK and India. The other was based out of Florida and somewhere else, I think China--I'm being lazy and not going to look it up now. =P No offense to people in the UK, but I was really hoping to find some place to print them in the United States--there are a variety of practical reasons for this that I'm not going to go into here since that'd be boring.

Moving on to the next hurdle--seeing what it would cost to print, what kind of quality product I'd be looking at, and all those "fun" details. After a week of phone conversations and emailing back and forth, I walked away with a quote and some card samples that I could live with. The cards will be the size of a standard deck of cards not like a larger tarot deck. This keeps the initial investment for the cards in the range of what I can afford to pay, and keeps the price for what I would charge for the deck in the realm of reasonable.

The current hurdle is adjusting each card to be printed as part of the deck. I'd originally designed the cards to be 8-1/2" x 11" prints and 3" x 4" badges; I wasn't really thinking about cards. Needless to say, just shrinking the current designs down to fit in the 2.5" x 3.5" space I have for the cards doesn't look very good. So I'm completely reformatting every card right now. I'm giving them a new border. I'm going to try and work some kind of symbol into the corners of the minor arcana so that you can tell what suit you're looking at with a glance. The new border has been designed--it's simple, but then at that size anything super detailed would be lost. The symbol hasn't happened yet, but whether that works out or not, each suit will have a different color for the border. On top of the adjusting, there's the fact that I needed to design a back for the cards. All this is taking a lot more time than I'd ever thought it would have. XD I'm notorious for underestimating time like that.

I'm hoping that all the files will be ready and in the printer's hands tomorrow. Considering how things stand now, I'm not feeling too optimistic about that happening, but I guess we'll see. As soon as the files are in the printer's hands and I have an idea for when I will have the decks in my hands, I will be posting a Pre-Order listing on Etsy.

Back Design
Front Design

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