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Disappointing print quality of Original RWS

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TheTaoOfPhil  TheTaoOfPhil is offline
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Disappointing print quality of Original RWS


Hi,

I am new to these forums and am impressed by the intelligence and depth of knowledge in the postings. I'm looking forward to reading and participating.

Now for my question.

I've been using an RWS deck that I purchased in the early 1980's. It is copywright 1971 from US Games Systems, was printed in Switzerland by Muller & Cie, and appears to have a matte finish. This deck is precious to me for a number of reasons and so I decided to purchase a second deck to use when outside of my house and potentially to do readings for my friends. So I purchased the "original" RWS pack, printed in Belgium, on Amazon.

I am astounded by the differences between these two decks. I see differences in the colors, in the contrasts, and even, as a result of the color and contrast changes, in the facial expressions of the figures! The most disturbing difference is that the images in new deck appear to be less clear. I believe this impression to be an artifact of the way that the masses of tones are put together. In my first deck, masses of color are solid, whereas in the new deck masses are put together by small dots -- it's almost a pontilist effect. The overall effect is as if I am looking at a color xerox copy of a copy of a copy, where the color spaces of the copies were not calibrated to the original colors.

By searching this forum I discovered Holly's RWS site (http://home.comcast.net/~vilex/ShipofFools.html) so I'm now aware that there are, in fact, rather radical differences amongst various printings of the RWS deck. I accept that there is some relativity in the treatment in these decks. So rather than assume that _my_ deck is right and the others are wrong, I am open to variations in color and tone. However, I find the lack of clarity to be difficult. I don't want to pay for a collector's edition, but I am wondering whether there is another edition of the deck available today, at a reasonable cost, in which the image quality is crisp and clean?

Thanks for your help.

Regards,

Phil
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coredil  coredil is offline
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a long story


Hello,

I would gladly tell you all what I have learned here on this subject, but it would take long and it is here in Germany right now quite late

Short version: The so called "Original Rider Waite" is a very special one.
Choosing this one, you choose the one that differs a lot in the drawings and colors from all other RWS decks.

All other regular and available US Games RWS do not differ as much as the "Original Rider Waite".
Cardstock is different though and today all the cards have a copyright.

If you make a little search on this very Forum you will find a lot of very interesting informations exactly about this subject.

Best regards
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coredil  coredil is offline
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Its the next morning now!
Here are some of the very interesting posts on this subject:

About Titles
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=39832

About the "Original Rider Waite"
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=29621

About the University Books Editions
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=40208

about the colors
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread...8&page=1&pp=10

about re-drawn RWS
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread...1&page=1&pp=10

One of the most informative thread
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread...5&page=1&pp=10

Best regards
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TheTaoOfPhil  TheTaoOfPhil is offline
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Thanks Coredil for all the information in these links. There's more information to wade through in all of these discussions and the various comparisons of the decks than I have time for. The discussion on Tarot Passages (http://www.tarotpassages.com/waite.htm) provides the most succinct and straightfoward overview, and includes links for purchasing each type of deck.

What I take away from all this, by way of summary, is as follows:

1) The "Standard" RWS deck, the 1971 US Games edition in the yellow box, is based on a reconstruction that turns out to be a very close copy of the 1909 1st edition. This is the deck I already owned and am happy with.

2) The "Original," a facsimile of cards printed from plates destroyed during the war, intended to reproduce the the original four color version. The cards from which the facsimile was made were one of many inferior copies, so in fact the "original" is less "original" than the reconstruction. It is the facsimile nature of these cards that displease me.

I wish I had known all this before I ordered the "original." In any case, I'll now have a very different kind of deck to compare with the standard.

Thanks for your help!

--Phil
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Abrac  Abrac is offline
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Hey phil

I recently purchased The Original Rider Waite Pack myself and I'm glad I didn't buy it for its artistic merit. Supposedly it's a photographic reproduction of Waite's personal deck as opposed to the 1971 version of recolored line drawings based on guesswork. Actually I like the artwork on the '71 version better, but it's cool to see the deck as it originally looked. One of the versions anyway, I know there are several early versions. I have been kinda curious about one thing. The Wheel Of Fortune on my Original Rider Waite has a stray line on the wheel that looks like some kind of printing error. Does yours have that too?

Take care

fools_fool
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Sulis  Sulis is offline
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Here's a visual comparison of the different Rider-Waite decks on Joan Bunning's site: http://www.learntarot.com/subjwv.htm

Personally I prefer the Rider version made in the early 1970s - same colouring as the current U S Games version but no copyright mark in the borders and wonderful, hardly there laminate.

I do like the card backs of the Original Rider-Waite though

Love

Sulis xx
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TheTaoOfPhil  TheTaoOfPhil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fools_fool
I have been kinda curious about one thing. The Wheel Of Fortune on my Original Rider Waite has a stray line on the wheel that looks like some kind of printing error. Does yours have that too?
I see a stray line on the upper right quadrant of the wheel (beginning at a little after 12:00 and continuing on down past 3:00). Is that what you mean?

It looks to me as if someone tried to add three-dimensionality to the wheel, to give the impression of the wheel's thickness, but it went badly (it also doesn't work because the wheel is perfectly circular, not slightly at an angle as it would need to be if you could see its depth from the side).

--Phil
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Abrac  Abrac is offline
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Yeah, that's it.

Now I'm wondering if it was in the original or a result of the reproduction.

Oh well, just curious. Thanks for your reply.

fools_fool
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Little Baron  Little Baron is offline
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Never noticed that before. It looks like a broken spring on a clock

LB
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The 78th Fool  The 78th Fool is offline
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I've actually ended up buying five copies of the Original rider Waite over the last three years and I have to say that part of the problem lies with the fact that colour reproduction varies tremendously from print run to print run.

I've bought so many copies for a couple of different reasons. My first copy got just plain worn out - I was using it for both reading and research purposes ( I was creating my own deck at the time). I now always keep two copies going - one for readings only and a second for general handling. I bought a forth copy for a friend who was learning to read. the fifth copy was bought for a specific reason - I saw it on ebay and discovered that the colour reproduction was far more superior to any of the other copies I'd previously seen. This copy is rich and deep in color - darker than any of the others I'd seen. It came in the old style plain navy box so it must have been a copy from the early nineties.

Big publishers and printers take surprisingly little care with regards to colour balancing artwork for mass production runs. I remember Baba Prague once saying that this was why they preferred to use a smaller local print house in Prague - they appreciated the work far more and put more effort into final technical presentation.

Returning to the Original Rider Waite, all five copies I've handled have looked distinctly different from each other. I have to say that it's the newer copies that are inferior. It's as if publishers and manufacturers get a little complacent with long running products that yield guaranteed sales.

I always wondered why people used to say that the sky was green on this edition of the deck until I saw a display copy of what must be the most up to date print run in a local store. What is a slightly turquoisy slate blue on my copy might as well have been lime green on the new one! The images were also much lighter than on my copy.

There doesn't seem to be any answer to this - I think it's pot luck as to the quality of the deck you end up with.

Rest assured, Belgian card manufacturers may like lime green skies, but Pixie Smith definitely knew better!!

Chris. xx
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