Half-size decks - a good idea?


I wanted to throw this out as a general question, because I made the mistake (?) of getting a quote on a half-size deck, and now I can't make up my mind whether to have both printed initially, or wait for the half size.

The artwork itself is clean enough to let the graphics be viable in half-size, so there's no artistic problem (small sigh). And I know a number of readers whose arthritis, or hand size, make full sized decks a problem to read with.

I think I'll be posting a poll under Talking Tarot to see just what kind of responses I get, but I was wondering what kind of experience in this area some of you might have.


I think if you can afford to print both that it may well be a good idea. Personally I like largish decks, but I know that many prefer something smaller.

Astra - are you self-publishing this? If so, well done, that's great.

When will it be ready?


If your deck contains alot of detail, maybe a larger size would be best to start with, just an idea. My preference is for large but small decks have their place too, i.e. easier for carrying round or for people with smaller hands. Good for you Astra, keep at it.



ooooooo, moonbow, i like your new avatar!! :)

Astra, I posted in the poll..... When will they be available, by the way???? (she asks excitedly) :D


When my deck was half done, I printed it on index-card stock and have been adding cards as they are finished. It's only 1.5" x 2.25", with square corners and no titles. Much detail is lost at this size (the final deck will be about 3" x 4.5") but people do like the intimacy of the little cards. I have always liked miniature things, and if I ever design another deck it will be tiny.


Red Emma

Half size decks

On the face of it, I'd rather deal with full sized decks...but not too big.

My first deck was a small Motherpeace, which drove me crazy. It was impossible to shuffle (riffle) and I eventually gave up and bought the full size. It's quite large, but because of its circular size, okay to handle.

On the other hand, the Goddess Tarot (which I otherwise love) is too big to handle. I never feel quite feel as if it's been properly shuffled as it seems to clump when I riffle-shuffle. Same with Sacred Circle.

For me the very best size is the normal 2 3/4 by 4 3/4. It's easy to handle, shuffles easily ... all kinds of good handling stuff.

Best wishes on your venture.


baba-prague - yes, I'm self-publishing. From looking around at the chances of getting a "real" publisher to pick up the deck, it seemed like the best way to go. Especially since if it does sell reasonably well, a publisher may pick it up eventually. It does seem as though most of what US games is doing is either in-house or originally self-published decks.

moonbow* - wonderful avatar!

skytwig - I dunno. the final quote is due next week, and then it's a matter of production schedules. Hopefully in the next couple of months.


Astra said:
It does seem as though most of what US games is doing is either in-house or originally self-published decks.

Yes, I think that's true. But in any case, I honestly do think self-publishing is a good way to go, especially for someone like you who understands the whole print and production process. It might be a bit daunting if you'd never worked with printers before, though even then, I think it's possible to learn as you go along.
We never even submitted our deck to anyone, in spite of some people saying "you must be mad" but we just wanted to self-publish from day one, and we've never regretted it.

I'm sure your deck will do very well.


When I asked the size question over on 6 different Yahoo tarot lists, the overwhelming response was for small cards easily handled. I didn't ask about miniature, but I think I'd have gotten the same response. People really like small, just so long as they can shuffle it in some way.

Oh, and a huge 'give us an interesting back image' was a close second in what they wanted from a deck.

Go for the small. It can be done as a limited run if you like, just to see how the two sizes compare. Usually with a standard size deck the LWB is done to that size, I'd say keep the LWB at that size instead of shrinking it down even further to be sized to the smaller deck--the tiny print would otherwise get even tinier & harder to read.


baba-prague - My only qualm about self publishing is if the deck takes off (fearful expectation?). I'm not sure I've got the time and energy to handle all the aspects of the process by myself, even though (or because!) I've got a fair idea what they entail.

At least the printer I'm working with is willing, for a reasonable fee, to warehouse and ship for me, which will handle the logistics of major orders much better than I could from home. Small orders I'll have to handle, no real problem there. And I know enough about accounting to keep up - but I'd hoped not to have to. Ah, well, such is life (and death, and crabgrass).

Hudson Gray - SIX different Yahoo tarot lists? Thank you so much for that information. I think the card back is reasonable - it's my Yggdrasil logo mirrored in the center of the card with a gradient blue/white background. (Maybe I'd better get the names from you - something tells me that it woudn't hurt to establish more of a presence there.)

The mini-deck wouldn't have an LWB at all - no room to pack it in reasonable form for shipping - which would make the PDF onsite even more necessary. And it helps keep down the cost of doing both at once.

Well, I think I can see where this is heading - Checkbook, beware!