Where do i start!

JJP

Hi,

I'm a graphic designer who has been asked to design a set of Tarot cards (I am not allowed to publicly state the Theme just yet, copyright issues and what not, I would get fired!). As such I needed to research the logistics of it.

Books, websites, and the reading of many old threads in here later... Decision: its a HUGE task.

So, I thought I would see how the rest of you approached this. How long is generally spent creating a deck, and how do you start such a big project?

Also, I've looked through a lot of the threads about artwork and printing etc, produce artwork larger than size type of thing. But what finished size is the most common to work to?

I suspect I am going to be working on, and asking questions about this, for a LONG time...!
 

Page

Hi and Welcome,

Having worked as a Graphic designer some time in London some time ago I could help from that point of view.

1. How long have you got?
2. Is it a joint project with other Designers
3. Is it for a client (The reason why I ask this is because clients have their own ideas, which may not work design/wise + I know how that whey would want things done from yesterday)
4. If your in London best of luck, as I know what Design companies are like.
5. Will you have others giving “their” own personal opinion, it might be helpful or it could put you right of track. Some Graphic designers have a huge ego, and can be such meat heads.

All the better if you’re a Freelancer because it’s a very long project………...You might as well subscribe and have a chat.
Oops sorry I did work in sales too :D

The main thing is that your in the right place for sure!
Your doing the right thing by reading old threads, keep brainstorming etc. But there is no magic trick to start.
It’s the same as anything you design/create. Even if you know nothing about tarot you can make your own deck.

What’s your best deck?

Feel free to e-mail me.
All the best

Maud
 

kayne

Wow - what a cool brief - create a tarot deck. :D

But... if you don't know tarot, especially if you are creating a deck that the client wants to sell, is going to have to contain a lot of tarot knowledge and meaning that can take years and years to learn and re-interpret.

However! We are here to help. :D

I suggest you read through Thirteen's Tarot Basics. Also, Joan Bunnings Learning The Tarot can be very helpful.

Good luck, ask many questions and hopefully we will get a chance to see your progress! :D
 

Major Tom

JJP said:
So, I thought I would see how the rest of you approached this. How long is generally spent creating a deck, and how do you start such a big project?

How long? Good question! Let's see, Bea Nettles took 4 years to create the Mountain Dream Tarot. I've been working on my own deck for 2 1/2 years so far. I suspect if this is a task you've been set by your employers, you won't have that kind of luxury with time.

Where to start? If you're limited for time, an ordered approach is called for. Start with the Fool and work your way through the majors. Then you could either do each suit separately or go by numbers i.e., the aces, the twos, etc., right through to the Kings. Kayne is right, Thirteen's tarot basics will definitely help.

You won't be aware of it yet, but as you go along you're going to find creating a tarot deck to be a life changing experience. })
 

JJP

Maud said:

1. How long have you got?
2. Is it a joint project with other Designers
3. Is it for a client (The reason why I ask this is because clients have their own ideas, which may not work design/wise + I know how that whey would want things done from yesterday)
4. If your in London best of luck, as I know what Design companies are like.
5. Will you have others giving “their” own personal opinion, it might be helpful or it could put you right of track. Some Graphic designers have a huge ego, and can be such meat heads.


1. The phrase 'There is SEVENTY EIGHT of the things' has already come up in conversation in regards to time. :) I could maybe get away with a couple of months, but beyond that...

2. No, just muggins here.

3. More casual. Kinda freelance client, but not in the 'I'm paying so do them NOW!' type of way. Half work/Half favour.

4. Manchester. But after working in too many studios, I have taken a more Production based job to try and avoid the 'Designery' type of people that you will no doubt be familiar with. I do my design work Freelance so I only have to suffer clients foibles now!

5. I will have none-designers opinions to deal with, which is probably worse. 'I don't like it, no I can't say why...'




Maud said:

All the better if you’re a Freelancer because it’s a very long project………...You might as well subscribe and have a chat.
Oops sorry I did work in sales too :D

Subscribe? Ok, what have I not seen... there are areas I can't get into at the mo?



Maud said:
The main thing is that your in the right place for sure!
Your doing the right thing by reading old threads, keep brainstorming etc. But there is no magic trick to start.
It’s the same as anything you design/create. Even if you know nothing about tarot you can make your own deck.

What’s your best deck?
[/B]

As this is starting from Zero tarot knowledge, I am just trying to put together a Brief, really. Going through making notes about what each card should contain. From there I hope to be able to do a complete Theme list, where I link them to the characters and objects of my given subject. Then there is that little job of actually doing the cards!



kayne said:
Wow - what a cool brief - create a tarot deck. :D

But... if you don't know tarot, especially if you are creating a deck that the client wants to sell, is going to have to contain a lot of tarot knowledge and meaning that can take years and years to learn and re-interpret.

However! We are here to help. :D

Oh its a great thing to be asked to do, just wish he could have asked something a smidge easier...

I do have the benefit of a friend of a friend who does Tarot readings. He gave me some basic info before I found here. (He uses the Rider-Waite deck). Means that I can at least run designs by him (as well as you lot of course) to see if they are Usable.




Major Tom said:
How long? Good question! Let's see, Bea Nettles took 4 years to create the Mountain Dream Tarot. I've been working on my own deck for 2 1/2 years so far. I suspect if this is a task you've been set by your employers, you won't have that kind of luxury with time.

*Smiles gently.*

*Falls off chair*



Major Tom said:
Where to start? If you're limited for time, an ordered approach is called for. Start with the Fool and work your way through the majors. Then you could either do each suit separately or go by numbers i.e., the aces, the twos, etc., right through to the Kings. Kayne is right, Thirteen's tarot basics will definitely help. [/B]

I am thinking that my client may well ask (in order to increase the popularity of this set to his customers) that the pack be easily usable as a Normal pack of cards too. (he originally said 'Can you do Tarot cards, or even normal playing cards, but I want tarot'.

Now I've read enough to know that you can turn the Minor cards into a normal deck by removing a Page or Knight from each suit.

What this means is that I think I can significantly reduce the time this job will take by producing the numbered minor cards in traditional playing card style. In other words design a Cup, a Wand etc, and simply have cards with 2, 3, 4, 5... of them on. This would mean I had 'only' the Major cards and the Court cards to do in the traditional style.

Is that reasonable, or a complete No-no in tarot circles?



Major Tom said:
You won't be aware of it yet, but as you go along you're going to find creating a tarot deck to be a life changing experience. }) [/B]

Yes, I think it may drive me insane. :)
 

JJP

On a slightly different vein... As I have been looking into all things Tarot and mystical, I continue to get amusement from the number of times the word 'pagan' appears.

Anyone want to guess what my last name is... must be fate... :)
 

Major Tom

JJP said:
Subscribe? Ok, what have I not seen... there are areas I can't get into at the mo?

The subscription link is at the top of the page. It would be great if you could subscribe. :D

JJP said:
What this means is that I think I can significantly reduce the time this job will take by producing the numbered minor cards in traditional playing card style. In other words design a Cup, a Wand etc, and simply have cards with 2, 3, 4, 5... of them on. This would mean I had 'only' the Major cards and the Court cards to do in the traditional style.

Is that reasonable, or a complete No-no in tarot circles?

Pips are fine. :) Be sure to check out some Marseilles style decks. :laugh:
 

JJP

Do you know any links to Marseille style Number cards, as all pictures shown of tarot tend to be of the more complicated & impressive cards?

I have been browsing through the list of decks (very impressive, not just the cards, but the site in general, LOADS of stuff in here...), anyway, saw that there a lot of published decks, and a lot personal unpublished ones, and i wondered, can anyone publish a Tarot deck?

I mean, are there particular people who everyone tends to go to for printing, publishing and distribution, so they get to the right network. Or is anyone producing a deck for distribution to their own customers a common thing as well?

See, I meant it about all the odd questions... :)
 

Zev

JJP said:
What this means is that I think I can significantly reduce the time this job will take by producing the numbered minor cards in traditional playing card style. In other words design a Cup, a Wand etc, and simply have cards with 2, 3, 4, 5... of them on. This would mean I had 'only' the Major cards and the Court cards to do in the traditional style.

Is that reasonable, or a complete No-no in tarot circles?



It is not a no-no as you already know. Bu t it makes it sooo much easier for a beginner to read the cards. It is hard as it is to remember all the meanings and symbols.
I have done tarot-readings for about seven years now and my first deck was the Arcus Arcanum Tarot. Check it out!
It is not the best deck to begin with I´ve heard... I didn´t know anything about tarot when I bought it.
My favourite deck is Robin Woods. Easy to interpret and wonderful pictures!

I hope you get through this without going completely mad!
I wish you the best of luck!

B*B
 

rota

If you're a Tarot newbie attempting to design a workable Tarot deck, and you're starting from zero... find someone who *does* know Tarot. You need someone to bounce your ideas off of, from whose experience you can draw.
You're in the position of someone doing medical illustrations for an anatomy text without the benefit of premed. You'd need the benefit of a doctor's experience.

Wishing you the best of fortune in this effort!

And yes, anyone can print a Tarot deck. Printing houses are actually interested in printing something they haven't done before. Posters and CD labels get to be old hat for them, and they welcome something new.