The allure of fantasy stories as a child really grabbed my attention. I had quite the attachment to stories from the brother Grimm in particular partly because they are just really interesting, but also because they are mostly all based on legends from parts of Germany where my family is from. Like all of our playing card projects to date, I have always wanted to create playing cards that are connected to my own personal history and spark awe in wonder with our customers at the same time.
We are starting this journey with a deck based on the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. If you're not familiar with the story, it's based on real events in the year 1284. The story is actually quite gruesome (as are a lot of Grimm's tales) but has been re-written many times to soften the story and make it age appropriate. Generally, the story is about a young piper who saved the town of Hamelin from rat infestation. However, when the town mayor refused to pay the Piper, he then led all the town's children away using his magic flute. Only three children survived. One was blind, the other lame, and the other deaf. As I said, it's a pretty dark story.
I remember having a children's book about the Pied Piper when I was a kid, so now we're using that as the basis for an upcoming project. The deck is being illustrated by Russell Gray and features two versions of the deck. We decided on two versions since the story itself has both a light / kid friendly version and the darker original version.
Here's an early preview sketch of the spade courts with gold foil. This will be the "light version" that we'll name later. The courts feature characters from the story as interpreted by the artist. The King of Spades, for example, is the Mayor of Hamelin who refused to pay the Piper. We are planning to have a foil and non-foil version of this deck when launch.
Let me know in the comments what you think of our progress so far and you'll be entered to win a free gift! I'm really excited with how things are progressing and will share more soon. If you have ideas for how to make this project better, feel free to post those in the comments below as well.
Stay tuned to Part 2 where I'll share early sketches of the Tuck Box or Card Back.
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