I will now discuss the cards intention, design and interaction elements of creating playing cards as a medium for my graphic visualisation.


My cards are aimed at quite a large and diverse audience, this being because it is not really applicable to a tightly defined age group. I would say that based on interest it would appeal from anyone in their mid 20’s upwards to late 50’s. However I would argue that rather than basing it on age, it is more dependent on their personal interests and whether the Internet is something that intrigues them in terms of its implications. So a 35 year old woman who uses social media and websites for news and shopping may not care for the knowledge and factual history of the Internet or the way it can be harnessed for educational uses or self learning. Also, I would argue that individuals who have a better grasp and relationship with the Internet are far more likely to find these cards of interest so it could be put down to a generational sense of audience.

Furthermore I think it is important to acknowledge that these cards require a level of maturity and so young audiences would not be attracted, neither would older individuals who do not have much Interest or investment with spending their time on the internet. Also I think a certain level of intelligence, patience and attention is required to be able to decipher understanding from the cards and to realise their greater meaning and insinuations as they will be very metaphorical and ambiguous in places.

Figure 1. Playing Card sizes

Figure 1. Playing Card sizes

Card size

It is important for me to consider the feasibility of using this medium and one major issue is the size the cards will be. My intention was for them to be ‘Poker size cards’, measuring 2.5 x 3.5 inches. This is because they are the most common sized cards and also because they are not too big to carry around and can be easily stored in a pocket. However their size is small when compared to the space of working with a book (making example of The Medium is the Massage and The Age of Earthquakes) and so this could propose issues with design as it will certainly limit me with the designs I could use.

Therefore it could be beneficial to use a Tarot sized card which measures 2.75 x 4.75 inches; although only slightly bigger, this would be very helpful in giving me more freedom for design. Also, they would be better sized in terms of their aspect ratio to fit on a mobile screen. Although the initial intent for this piece will be physical cards, they can also be appropriate to go on screen as an app (this will be discussed further on in the post).

Figure 2. iPhone aspect ratio

Figure 2. iPhone aspect ratio

Looking at figure 2 we can see that from iPhone 5, the aspect ratio is almost identical to the Tarot card – 1920/ 1080 = 1.7. 1497/897 = 1.668. Where as the ratio for the Poker card is 1.364 (1122/822). This therefore suggests that the Tarot size would be far more appropriate because of its ability to adapt for screen and also the extra size to work with. Although I could still adapt the poker size to screen. However I do think the smaller size offers a lot more convenience and the fact it would be easier to carry around is a big attraction for my vision of the cards. Furthermore they would have a use in the sense that they are playing cards. Given this factor, I think that this product would have a far bigger pool of attraction and it would sell more. Given this factor I think it is extremely important to make playing cards as my idea will have far wider exposure.

Deck size, colour, and design ideas

After looking at Carson’s book, I feel that using colour can cause unwarranted distraction from the content’s message and so I have decided that I would like to use predominantly black and red as these are the conventional colours.  Also I have thought about the joker cards in a playing card deck and this is something I would like to use in my own cards. I think that the figures of Vannevar Bush and Marshall McLuhan would be very appropriate here as I will mention them on the cards.

Potential for digital adaption

As mentioned earlier, although these cards are meant for physical use (and that is how I will be producing them) I want to make it aware that they would also be appropriate for use digitally. Both the size and the way they are to be viewed would work well for mobile devices and they could be used for an app where the audience swipes back and forth to view a card at random. This does pose the issue that the back of the card would become redundant but I do not see this as an issue and it could always be incorporated if needed, for example, by having a button that flips the card.

Also I think it is very accessible as it is quick, easy and does not require a lot of time. There are existing apps for example that reveal jokes for random facts and you merely swipe across to reveal  new content. Figure 4 is an example of this and illustrates the type of app that is not required for the individual to invest any effort.

Figure 4. Random fact app

Random app 2
Figure 3. Random fact app




Figure 1. Playing card size dimensions. Image available at: http://pstudiocdn.appspot.com/images/site/card_bleed_safe.jpg [Accessed on 02/04/15]

Figure 2. iPhone aspect ratio. Image available at: https://gigaom2.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/iphone-aspect-ratios.jpg?quality=80&strip=all&w=804 [Accessed on 02/04/15]

Figure 3. Image available at: http://a1.mzstatic.com/us/r30/Purple3/v4/dc/0d/04/dc0d044a-bbac-d9a0-58f3-baabfd5a76a3/screen568x568.jpeg and http://a4.mzstatic.com/us/r30/Purple4/v4/63/e5/1f/63e51f1f-c817-7bd7-5f4f-3cea392da5bd/screen568x568.jpeg [Accessed on 02/04/15]