30 June 2012

Tarot Designs

Recently I worked on a project involving the design of thirteen symbols rooted in Tarot iconography. The commission was a particular one, and my job was very straight forward - trying to meet the specifications of product requirements in a simple, styled way - but I found the material intriguing.
For the client's needs, nine court symbols and four more abstracted associations were necessary. (Cups, Wands, Swords, Pentacles, World, Page, Knight, Queen, King, and Angel, Eagle, Lion, and Bull).

I was given them, their information, and started on the rough sketches to figure out their basic structure. A little bit of research went into the historic inspirations of these symbols, yielding some curious design solutions thought up in the medieval era. I worked from their economy of line, hoping the new designs might allude back, for those familiar with Tarot art history. It was also a pleasure to base my interpretations on such 'old ground'.

All in all it was quite a different thing for me.
 Rough Sketches follow first, then the selected ones which were brought to finish:

Multiple Roughs One, Graphite, 2012
Multiple Roughs Two, Graphite, 2012

Once the favored designs were chosen, I tidied the graphite drawings and turned them into clear, smooth finished files, as the client required.

Major Arcana - World


My job is done, but I'll be interested to see where the rest of the project goes and if it is a success.


  1. Well done! What program did you use to finish them? Illustrator or Photoshop

  2. Thanks, Emily.
    I took the drawings to tight ink finish, then scanned and edited in Photoshop. It was my most comfortable solution at the time, given my time restrictions.

  3. I can't wait to see the finished piece. Will you be continuing them in color?

  4. These are finished.
    I mention at the end of my blog post 'My work is done'.
    For the sake of the client's plans, I did not go into the details of what my designs will be used for, though it may be an unnecessary caution at this point.
    I did mention though that the project's continuation - which is now in the hands of the client - will depend on their end. I may or may not see where that goes, if it goes further.
    So no color for my tarot designs; they were submitted as gray files for the needs of the project, and that is as far as I go with it.

    Thanks for the comments!