The Rainbow Deck
This deck of cards, lovingly called “The Rainbow Deck”, was inspired by the queer community of San Francisco, where I was born and grew up. The city has changed a lot since I was young, but those of us who knew it in the old days miss the weird and spirit of San Francisco before the tech days. I was inspired by LGBT: San Francisco: The Daniel Nicoletta Photographs, which is a series of photos of the queer SF community dating back to the first days of the SF Pride parade and Harvey Milk. The challenge was to create a unique piece of artwork that was still recognizable and functional deck of cards.
To get everything to look cohesive and be user-friendly, I did every part of this project by hand. The characters of the Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Jokers are all hand-drawn. I sketched them on paper, then traced them in Illustrator, then very carefully flipped each person at a precise angle to create the classic two-headed royal card effect. All of the letters and numbers are from the typeface Fairwater, which I outlined and manipulated in Illustrator. I then created a grid system in InDesign that I used to place every item in the exact same place for all 56 cards.
It turns out the Jacks in a card deck has actually historically been a sort of hermaphroditic character, so I thought that would be perfect for trans people of SF.