Try and top this holiday mailer without breaking the bank. Oh and we had 2 weeks to do it.
We decided to go simple and… Sorry we couldn’t finish that sentence with a straight face. It might seem like a simple product but getting the specifications for the cards, not to mention the construction of the box was anything but. Needless to say we have sent our printer several “please forgive us” gifts since then.
So we pretty much locked James in a room and left him to research. And research and research and research. And sketch. The four suits were designed to represent the four elements (earth, air, water, fire), and included traditional icons incorporated into the face cards as well as new embellishments like Latin text and intricate symbols.
Let’s dive into one of the suits, just to give you a sense of the amount of research we poured into this project.
WATER – SPADES
AQUA VITAE – WATER OF LIFE
This is the kingdom of believers. They are healers and have faith in higher powers. I had some trouble with this suit, because the weapon, offering and tool are all the same (a cup), so I had to try and find ways of showing the same object in different styles.
The King features the weapon of water, which is the cup. His wrist shows the philosophy of this kingdom with the Latin word “Fides” (Faith), and his hand is pointing up to reinforce this. His shield has a fish, an obvious symbolic animal for water, and the Latin phrase “Deum fons et origo” (Source and Origin, or God). Over his shoulder is the symbolic Rod of Asclepius, a serpent-entwined rod wielded by the Greek god Asclepius, a deity associated with healing and medicine.
The Queen of water is holding the offering of the element, a cup. Her cup is overflowing, which symbolizes not wealth of power or money, but abounding faith.
The Prodigal Jack, he is pouring his cup out, which represents a rebuke of the symbolic water. The tool of water is, again, the cup.
Here are all the king cards for all the suits.
Probably James’ favorite single card, the joker has a few fun adornments. His face is both smiling and frowning – to illustrate the duality of mischief. He also has an ace up each sleeve, of course, and he wears the symbols of all suits, because his nature is apparent in every philosophy.
If you dig the cards and want a set of your own, we’ve got a handful left that you can purchase online.