San Francisco Card Deck

Branding, Cards, Design, Illustration, Packaging, Places, Print, Uncategorized

This year, my client gift was a custom deck of playing cards featuring landmarks from San Francisco, a fun personal tribute to the city I love and that so many also love to love.

I am no stranger to designing cards, having created a custom deck of poker cards for a charity poker tournament, as well as two card-based games for Google (Data Center Manager and Launch & Iterate). I love games, and also love designing for them, so deciding on a poker deck as a client gift seemed like the perfect pair.

I started back in the summer, thinking how to organize the face cards. There are a variety of options, such as by neighborhood, or by personalities (techie, hippie, by park, etc. I decided on buildings and landmarks because they had a pretty decent correlation by category for each set of 4 face cards and also had a certain amount of historical and intrinsic value to the people of San Francisco. But, as no option was perfect for capturing every aspect of the city’s culture, heritage and history, some icons didn’t make it, such as Dolores Park, AT&T Park, or the Presidio, to name a few that got cut from the long list.

What I did include were 3 categories of landmarks for each set of face cards.

Kings

SF Card Deck KingsKings were represented by famous tall buildings or towers: Sutro, TransAmerica, Coit and the Ferry Building clock tower. I think I chose them as Kings purely based on height.

Queens

SF Card Deck QueensQueens were some of the beloved bridges that are either in or connect to San Francisco: Bay Bridge both east and western spans, Golden Gate, and the slightly less famous but delightful bridge in the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. Perhaps I chose them for queens because they hold some of the real power in the city, as far as connecting us to our neighbors.

Jacks

SF Card Deck JacksJacks comprised of other famous tourist attractions including the Painted Ladies in Alamo Square, Alcatraz Island, Lombard Street, and the Palace of Fine Arts, which coincidentally happened to celebrate its 100th birthday this year.

SF Card Deck 2Of course, the real character of the cards lies in the Joker, whom I aptly chose our dear Emperor Norton to fill the role of. It seemed all too appropriate. (Don’t know who he is? Check out the wikipedia page).

SF Card Deck 3

The final consideration for the cards was the color palette, which is very limited. These colors are the ones I’ve chosen for my personal branding, but it’s not a huge coincidence that the cadmium red (not quite international orange, but certainly in the spirit) and sea green are in play for this San Francisco-based designer.

SF Card Deck 1

Want a deck of your own? Email me, and I can mail you a pack ($20+shipping). While supplies last.

SF Card Deck 4

San Francisco Infographic – 59 Illustrated Facts

Design, Illustration, New Piece, Places, Posters

PrintI’m so pleased to have a new piece featured in the Bold Italic today. I worked on this for a few months so am excited it gets to see the light. For those not local to San Francisco, the Bold Italic is a popular local website that is both a treasure trove of resources about things in and around the city, but also full of fun illustrated articles that hit home for a lot of San Franciscans. What better place to showcase a fun infographic about tid-bits of city trivia?

PrintI dug deep into the depths of the internet to find facts that I felt were static, meaning not info about population, demographics, economy, or other such things that change frequently, in order to give this piece a longer shelf life.

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It was a lot of fun to discover some of these things too, so hopefully the readers enjoy learning along with me. I mean, what city has two songs dedicated to its honor. The story behind why there is an official song AND a ballad is so good it almost deserves an illustration of its own. Perhaps I’ll save it for another time.

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My hope is that the internet has not lied to me in my effort to find factual information. If anyone has anything to contest, I’d be eager to hear your findings.

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For example, I almost misrepresented Mission Dolores as the oldest structure, but luckily a good friend of mine came across an article debunking some common held SF misconceptions, saving me from publishing that error. Still felt like I had to include the Mission though as it’s such an iconic and clearly very old piece of SF history.

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In the spirit of infographics, I did also try to keep things like scale consistent wherever possible. There are some places where that didn’t work out, and others where I felt it was too important to skip (the magnitude of the earthquakes, for example, since it really adds to the viewers’ understanding of the difference in severity), and I do feel rather guilty about failing to represent the information. Hopefully you don’t hold it against me too much.

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I was pretty pleased to learn about the history of Wells Fargo and its relationship to American Express. History fun facts are cool.

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Hope you enjoy! Keep an eye out for more. I had so much fun making this, I can’t wait to come up with another.