Pattern Play: A Refreshing Take on Playing Cards and Calendars

Injecting Positivity and Creativity into Daily Life

People have taken unprecedented safety measures during COVID-19. Being socially isolated for so long makes everyone feel more or less lonely or depressed. And thus the designer wants to create designs with vivid, bold colors within organic patterns and shapes to inject positivity and hope into people's daily life. The team chose playing cards as the main product in hopes to provide a refreshing and special entertainment experience for family and friends, while a colorful eye-catching calendar can brighten up and energize any space as a nice decoration.

Pattern Play! is Design For You's newest series, a TOPYS project that aims to enliven daily objects with design power. The designer, Topys - Huimeng Li, plays with patterns and colors, dots, and lines, and puts them on playing cards and a calendar. The result is a collection of 54 unique illustrations that make one-of-a-kind playing cards. These cards can also be used as tarot cards or bookmarks, adding versatility to their functionality. Additionally, the team has created a calendar featuring 12 enlarged artworks paired with one-liners from editors. This calendar can also be used as posters to light up and energize living rooms, offices, or any favorite corner.

The Pattern Play! playing cards are made with 310 gsm waterproof card stock paper, featuring a matte cover finish and rounded corners. The double-sided solid color printing ensures a premium playing experience. The calendar, on the other hand, is crafted with 250 gsm specialty paper, printed in solid colors with a tear-off line for easy use.

With dimensions of 63mm x 88mm x 19mm, the playing cards are designed to fit comfortably in your hands. The calendar measures 270mm x 430mm, making it a striking and noticeable addition to any space.

The Pattern Play! project started in July 2022 in Shenzhen and went on sale in November 2022. Throughout the design process, the team conducted extensive research on different types of playing cards, printing techniques, and materials. They aimed to create a top-quality product with unique designs. The team studied various cases, ranging from big companies like Art of Play and Bicycle to small local labels. They also compared multiple suppliers and conducted factory visits. The result is a poker-sized deck that allows for more visuals, printed on international standard 310 gsm black core card with matte cover finishes, providing a premium playing experience for daily recreational activities.

The main challenge in the creative process was to balance originality and practicality. The designer had to follow design rules for playing cards while trying to separate them from standard products. Instead of the traditional spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs, 54 unique illustrations were created for each card. The face cards (J, Q, and K) are kaleidoscope-inspired, while the number cards (A to 10) feature irregular patterns and shapes. The jokers showcase TOPYS's IP little ghost. The team also conducted several internal tests and spent a significant amount of time adjusting the size and colors of the letters and numbers to ensure they were easy to read and play with.

Pattern Play! is a testament to the designer's vision of injecting positivity and hope into people's daily lives. The vibrant colors, organic shapes, and unique illustrations on the playing cards and calendar bring joy and inspiration to any space. Whether used for recreational activities or as decorative pieces, these non-standard products are sure to spark curiosity and encourage a better way of life.

This exceptional design has been recognized with the Bronze A' Design Award in the Graphics, Illustration, and Visual Communication Design category in 2023. This prestigious award honors designs that exhibit strong technical and creative skills, contributing to quality of life improvements and making the world a better place.

Project Details and Credits

Project Designers: TOPYS TOPYS
Image Credits: IP / COPYRIGHT / IMAGE / PHOTO / SOUND / VIDEO CREDITS Image #1-5: Photographer Zichen Yang, Pattern Play!, 2022. Image #1-5: Creator Huimeng Li, Pattern Play!, 2022. Video Credits: Motion Graphics by Huimeng Li.
Project Team Members: Illustrator & Motion Designer: Huimeng Li Art Director: Silin Chen Project Manager: Jing Lin Planners: Jing Lin, Xiwen Wang Photographer: Zichen Yang Editor: Yun Ji PR: Wanjun Xie
Project Name: Pattern Play
Project Client: TOPYS TOPYS

Pattern Play IMG #2
Pattern Play IMG #3
Pattern Play IMG #4
Pattern Play IMG #5
Pattern Play IMG #5

Read More on Design Radiant