Designing Cardistry Touch's ESCP_TH!S Playing Cards with Alex Matencio

The team at Cardistry Touch teased their latest deck on Instagram. ESCP_TH!S is the fifth deck after the 2019 release, DERIVE.
Designed by Alex Matencio of Zalem Industries, the deck is not only stylish but visually eye-catching with a street/tech wear vibe. According to Alex,

The creative brief was to focus on techwear, to adapt to the general identity of Touch and to their style. It was challenging, but that's how you learn even more :).

The faces sport a one-way design deck. On the design, Alex continued,

It was definitely tougher than expected. After multiple test ideas of the back, I started nearly from scratch again but not for the back design. I first found the idea that became final for the front face and then adapted the back using a couple of ideas the Touch guys and I kept from the previous tests.

The deck is kept secure in Cardistry Touch's iconic swivel box. Incorporating the design elements into the tuck is not as simple as it looks. Alex explained,

Designing their swivel box, while easy since I had the art done already, started as a mindf*** of graphic "continuity" for me. You may not see it from here but if you already have a Touch Swivel box home, try and tear it apart and you'll see the unexpected complexity of it. It's a 3D puzzle. Hopefully, Ladislas did his best to explain it to me so that we get it done by the same afternoon, which we did.

On the art direction, while designing ESCP_TH!S, Alex described,

Also, for my clients, be it @cardistrytouch, had a pretty good understanding of graphic design in general and of their own visual identity, hence making working for them a delight where they would understand my propositions and arguments very easily. The way they bounced back on my ideas made me enjoy every part of the process and allowed me to challenge everything I was doing and propose better and better ideas. Last but not least I'm also glad I decided to restart nearly from scratch in September since my new ideas came out, in my opinion, much better than my first ones that were too messy.

ESCP_TH!S will be printed by USPCC for the FIRST time. This is due to the C9² finish that Cardistry Touch has been using is not available anymore. The team is currently working closely with Cartamundi to find a brand new finish, even better than the last one, which will take time.

The deck is scheduled to be released on March 26 at 19:00CET.

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