The Altrosa Story
If you had told me by the end of 2007 that I would print 2,900 (2,908 to be exact) pink Black Roses decks 1 ½ years later, I would have laughed. A quick leap into the present: well… But how did we get here?
The Black Roses Altrosa Playing Cards idea was pretty spontaneous. I finished my work on the 7th edition of the Orbit deck a few days before Easter and I already wanted to do something new. Already too much time passed by since my last deck and as a workaholic I can't just do nothing. It's an uncomfortable feeling.
My idea was to release a very limited deck. Maybe 1000 decks that I print without the struggle and hassle of a Kickstarter campaign. The very first version of the Altrosa deck had a really really bright pink color. Not really commercial but I liked it at that point.
I asked a friend of mine – who is also the Queen of Hearts in most of my decks – what she thinks about the color and she said: “better do it in dusky pink. That's more modern at the moment”.
Of coourse it is! How could I forget that..? I can’t resist this joke at this point but I’m really soo thankful that she told this to me.
She sent me a screenshot from google with different dusky pink color tones. My first reaction was: “damn :D”. I created an image with the Black Roses back design in 6 different colors since I couldn’t decide immediately. I also asked the Queen of Spades in my decks about her opinion. They both liked the color that you see on the final deck now.
“Altrosa” is the German word for dusky or antique pink. Since I already called the second Black Roses deck “Immergrün Edition” (German for Evergreen Edition) I thought it’s a cool idea to give the new deck also a German subtitle.
I can’t hide the fact that other pink decks on the market inspired me to design my own pink deck. But the dusky pink color is – in my option – what sets this deck apart from any other pink deck on the market. Correct me if I’m wrong but I haven’t seen a deck with this color before. I’m glad when I still find ways to do something new in this playing card industry when you think everybody already has printed everything.
At this point a few companies would already release the deck since the back design is finished.
But the real work starts here. The pips and indices of the Black Roses Altrosa Playing Cards are the exact same like in the Polyantha deck. After 5 deck releases I think I finally found the right pips I’m happy with. Everything is a bit smaller – like that the court cards have the same distance to the borders on every side. Like that everything looks much more elegant or “filigree” how the Queen of Hearts said. The Spades also have a sharper tip. But the most important part – everything still looks like a normal deck of cards and you can only appreciate all the work behind it if you know the standard face cards. I'm a fan of subtle changes if the final product looks better afterwards.
I replaced the black color of the face cards with a dark grey color. I really like the outcome of the Spades and Clubs in the Orbit V5’s and I wanted to recreate that in the Altrosa deck. My goal was to give the deck a faded look and the dark grey turned out so well with the dusky pink color.
A lot people already ask me to draw them on a playing card and a lot people also want to be a part of the Black Roses deck. A trap I built myself when I started to draw faces on court cards. Because of that I decided to mostly use the courts that I used in my first deck where I just added friends and family members. I also redesigned a lot faces. Some old courts that I don’t like anymore and some people who wanted an update. With all these updates I came another step closer to perfection when it comes to custom courts.
As a perfectionist I often have hard times where I make myself crazy. Or would you believe that I needed longer for the decision which ad cards I add into the deck than for the entire deck design?
I haven’t really counted the hours or days. But because of this I couldn’t send the final deck design to USPCC before Easter. So, over the entire Easter time I thought about the ad cards.
I didn’t want to add another duplicate into the deck anymore. Yes, that is a good extra card but you can just open another deck of cards and then you actually have 52 duplicates.
I added the 0 of Diamonds to the deck. If you have an idea how to use this card in a unique way in a card trick – please let me know. I just think it’s funny. And yes, the second ad card is a two-toned double backer. Of course, you ask yourself now why it took so long to came to this decision.
I wanted to add a blue card into the deck to give you a little preview of what could come in the future. But then I thought a blue card in the deck could completely destroy the look of the deck. It took me a while until I realized that this is not the case. I also didn't just want to add a double backer to the deck but at the end this was the best decision I could have done before I would have gone completely crazy. I thought about an Angle-Z gaff card, a blue card with a normal face, double facer etc. but somehow nothing really felt right.
Pink decks can look silly really fast and people also asked me in the past why I would walk around with a pink deck. I can tell you this won’t happen to you with the Black Roses Altrosa Playing Cards.
I know the Queen of Clubs normally don’t like pink. But she told me that really likes the color of this deck.
The color gave me the confidence to print more than just 1000 decks. Still a bold move for me without Kickstarter but I also trust in my work and in your understanding of art.
Thanks for reading and much love.