CULTURAE ANIMALIS Playing Cards. A sustainable deck with deep cultural and artistic roots
Jack Brutus Penny is a nonsense writer, illustrator and English teacher based in Japan. His experience in the artistic world has led him to create written and printed works in which respect for nature is a common denominator. Jack leaps now to the card design world with a completely original and different deck: CULTURAE ANIMALIS.
This is one of those projects that you have to read slowly to be able to squeeze all its juice. The talent and the enormous work behind each of these cards requires a leisurely observation. The artist has been able to combine art from different traditional cultures with human poses of animals in beautiful and careful illustrations full of details and completely hand-drawn along more than six months.
Thus, each suit represents a different culture and animal. Cats flood traditional Japanese works of art in diamonds, medieval age inspire works with rabbits in spades, birds recreate Arab scenes in hearts and clubs have been invaded by indigenous tribal dogs from around the world. The artistic inspiration is wide, from photographic postcards to lithographs, tapestries or engravings.
The designs are completely monochromatic, in red and black fitting the traditional colors. Full bleed drawings fill the faces and the court cards form triptychs with interesting scenes.
But the artist’s commitment to nature goes far beyond his personal portrait of it. Jack wants his deck to be also a symbol of sustainability and respect for the environment. Thus, he will use PrintNinja for the production that will be carried out with 85% recycled paper and soy bean based inks. In addition, bubble wrap with plastic derived from sugarcane will be used to protect the decks in their travels around the globe.
From my point of view, this first playing cards work by an experienced artist is undoubtedly an outpouring of talent and deserves to be known and collected by everyone. In addition, Jack wants to involve all his backers in the design steps that are being developed during the campaign (like the tuck case) so that they feel much more integrated in the creative process.
If you like it, do not hesitate to visit the project website and raise your pledge.