Broken Crowns is the first playing card project from husband and wife Mark and Jenny Fallis.
One of Mark's bucket list creative projects has always been to design and produce a deck of playing cards. When the COVID pandemic hit, more free time at home allowed this project to finally kickoff and now after more than 9 months of research and design, Mark and Jenny are proud to present to you: Broken Crowns.
Inspired by family heirloom tapestries and various design elements found throughout their home, the line-work and illustration was hand-rendered by both Mark and Jenny.
Ace of Spades
Months of research went into this project. Many historical references to playing card design are found throughout the deck.
The Ace of Spades provides a nod to its back-story with the phrase "DO NOT Sell or Buy for use in Another Deck". It originally was issued by the government as a way for ensuring taxes were paid by playing card manufacturers.
Inspired by designs from the 1700's and 1800's, the initial card illustrated was the King of Hearts. This card set the stage for the entire deck's aesthetic. Adjectives used to describe this deck have been whimsical, idiosyncratic, and weird.
Jenny and Mark enjoy card games such as Poker, Rummy, Spades, Blackjack, and Speed. They designed this deck with players in mind ensuring its color palette, legibility, layout, indices, and pips were familiar and traditional.
The Joker pays tribute to its design evolution through history. Examples of this are seen in the name "Jolly Joker" as well as the similar typographical layout of the original Bower Card.
The color palette of the cards carries over to the tuck, however using a different approach. The background is a one color version of the back design, while the red is only represented on the seal.