Some months ago, I wrote an article about Pr1me playing cards.
Pr1me Playing Cards is a young Italian manufacturer of playing cards that tries to give to playing cards fans a nice combination of tradition and quality. Pr1me decks have been one of the few European decks that have become popular in the international (mainly USA) market. They are proud to say that their decks are “the ??most beautiful poker cards in the world, among the standard cards”. For that reason, I decided to talk to the big boss at Pr1me cards and ask him about that blunt assertion.
Pr1me cards designed the first edition of their decks and they are sold out. So, while releasing the second edition, they have bringed to us a nice deck called Sketch. I have taken advantage of the interview to ask Massimo Gramiccioni about this deck.
Enjoy the interview, the info and the photos:
- Max – Hello Massimo, nice to share this time with you talking about playing cards industry in Europe
- Massimo Gramiccioni – Hi Max, thank you for this interview. It will my pleasure to talk to you about playing cards industry.
- Max – Tell me about Pr1me company. How was it born? How many people are involved? Where is the factory located?
- Massimo – Pr1me was my idea. When I was a kid I liked to watch at the cards but I wasn’t completely satisfied … I didn’t like the court cards faces and I couldn’t stand the fact that only the ace of spades was decorated. When I grew up I created E.B.S., a business services company, that also offered printing services, and one day, I decided to try to make my own deck of cards. Pr1me is a trademark of E.B.S., at Rome and there are about 7-10 people directly working on Pr1me brand.
- Max – You state Pr1me cards are the best in the world. Can you explain to me this statement?
- Massimo– We state that Pr1me are the best just because we think Series001 is the most beautiful deck in the world among the standard decks. If we compare the cards of any standard poker deck, I think that our deck is much prettier. In fact I think that a standard deck must be an appropriate balance between beauty and playability. Our decks have the same playability as the standard decks from the most famous playing card companies, but our cards are much more beautiful, so “they are the best playing cards in the world”. ;)
- Max – Are you satisfied about the popularity of your decks inside and outside Europe? Have you received feedback from the “market”?
- Massimo – I’m very satisfied about the popularity that we have in USA and Asia, where we have sold much more decks than in Europe. I think there is a difficult market, mainly due to a language barrier. Until Europeans speak the same language, we will be talking about Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and not Europe.
- Max – Are the first edition of Pr1me completely sold out? Which are your next future projects?
- Massimo – The first edition of Series001 is completely sold out. We still have some decks of the “First 100” and some “No Good” (misprint) decks. In this month we have started to sell the second edition of Series001, changing many things of the very first edition. We have improved the tuck box, the printing quality and have added two bonus cards. Furthermore in this month we have started to sell the Pr1me Sketch Limited Edition.
- Max – What about this new deck: Sketch. Can you tell me about the inspiration of this deck, the creator and its main features (paper, stock, number of decks produced, …)?
- Massimo – The sketch is a limited edition of 2,000 decks. All decks are hand numbered and have an sticker into the box with the sketch edition logo. The quality is the same as in Series001, in fact we have used the same card stock. To create the skecth deck, we have used the designs we did while creating the Series001. My favorite card is the ace of spades, that represents the gambler. There is a nose, because the gambler needs to sniff the right hand, the eyes are too concentrated on the game, the circle represents gambler’s mind, thinking about its hand and finally, into the mind, there is a pr1me woman representing the cards he is holding. Over the circle there is the target of the gambler: W1N. I think that this is a kind of Salvador Dali’s style card.
- Max – The economical situation nowadays is specially critical in some European countries. How has it affected to your business?
- Massimo – I can’t say the economical situation affected us, because we started our business during the economical crisis. Nevertheless, we are really affected by the Italian tax policy. We have to pay a big tax rate per deck sold, so this situation doesn’t allow us to sell our products with a better price. The shipping costs are also really high in Italy (shipping a deck from Roma to New York costs the double of the shipping cost in the opposite direction). I hope this situation changes soon because, if it doesn’t happen, we will be forced (as many other Italian companies) to move to another country.
- Max – Massimo, can you tell me something about your next projects?
- Massimo – We are working on many other projects, but I can’t reveal you still their contents. We are working an our website, to make it more friendly and elegant.
- Max – Massimo, it has been a pleasure to talk to you a little bit. Please, keep us informed about all your next projects and I am sure card fans all over the world will keep supporting your nice decks.
- Massimo – Max it has been an honour for me to talk with you,
about my little card company, and I look forward to tell you
and you followers about our new decks, that will be amazing… I hope :) Thank you very much