Design Studio 1 – Week 2

Adobe, Graphic Design, Studio

So this week it was some more work on my Art Deco playing cards. This week the job was to put together the style guide and create each card in Adobe InDesign.

I thought I’d share a little bit of insight into how I made the designs and which programs I used.

  • Characters: Adobe Photoshop
  • Geometric Designs: Adobe Illustrator – then transferred into Adobe Photoshop to make them gold.
  • Cards: Adobe InDesign
  • Style Guide: Adobe InDesign

My decision to add gold into each characters outfit was to draw a relationship between the patterns and the characters and create unity within the card. It is also a way to reflect the era of glamour, frivolity and luxury, the Jazz Age, that was the 1920s.

There are a number of fonts I looked at that could reflect the 1920s era and the one I’ve picked is Betty Noir (by Blambot and found on Here is a list of fonts I looked at:

Font Choices

After I’d chosen the font, I chose the suits and edited them to suit. I made them a little skinnier, a little taller and then, to match the theme, added the gold foil texture to them. As you can see, the hearts and diamonds are solid while for the spades and clubs I created a repeated pattern within the outline to make them stand out against the other two. I did toy with the idea of using a different colour (I thought white) but it didn’t keep with the glitz and glamour style.

Heart - gold    Spade - gold       Diamond - gold      Club - gold

When I (finally) found the images I wanted to use (here – LINK), I had to edit them all a bit so they matched the style and colour scheme I’d chosen.

These were the original images I’ve chosen:

                                The Jack

And these are the edited versions:

KD Man          QH Lady         JC Man

They were all edited within Photoshop. Basically, what I did was remove the background of each one, choose the areas which needed to be changed (mostly just changing the colour of a few sections – i.e. the woman’s dress, the king’s bow-tie) and then add some gold into each character. I had to work with a few layers to keep the shading of each section I was changing. The gold I used was a gold foil texture. By having the texture as a layer in my photoshop file I was able to use the function ‘Create Clipping Mask’ which added the gold onto the layer directly below it. By using the gold foil texture it allowed me to keep the shiny, reflective nature of the foil rather than using some Metallic Gold Pantone colours and creating a gradient. I think if I did it again the future I would try creating the gradient using the Metallic Pantone colours  and compare the effect against the gold foil. It could be a simpler printing process than printing with gold foil. Lastly, I added a drop shadow so the character would stand out a bit from the pattern behind.

For the geometric patterns (the back design and the designs behind the characters on the front of each card) I looked into some of the different types of architecture from the 1920s in the style of Art Deco and then I also looked at a number of 1920s inspired geometric patterns that have been made in more recent years. From there I created a few rough copies in Adobe Illustrator before I came up with one that I liked and fit well on the card. Because of the repetition of pattern found in art deco, I was able to create the pattern for one quarter of the card and then, using the reflect and copy tool, I was able to line them up and create the whole design a lot quicker. Once I had the design I was ready to put it into photoshop and use the same Clipping Mask tool I did with the characters.

1.2.PC - Back Design3.

My final card designs:

King of Diamonds2. Queen of Hearts3. Jack of Clubs4. Ace of Spades5. 5 of Diamonds

Let me know what you think of them or if you have any other questions about what I did.

Cheers : )

– KH


3 thoughts on “Design Studio 1 – Week 2

  1. Hi Kim, thanks so much for linking to my gold foil tutorial! I love what you’ve done with it, I’m a big fan of art deco so this is super cool. I’ve love to know what city is in that pic of you in the header, btw.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Marianne, I’m glad you like what I did with the gold foil : ) Yeah, I’m really liking geometric patterns at the moment, especially from the art deco era.
      My header pic is from Edinburgh – at the top of Arthur’s Seat. It was a pretty long walk but the view was definitely worth it.


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