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David Williamson
Your Gypsy Deck
My search for an authentic-looking, usable, vintage deck is over. The design is authentic and the quality is top notch. And the fact that Christian offers a wide range of matching gimmicked cards is just icing on the cake. I'll always carry a deck in my professional kit.
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Gaffed Bicycle cards

You're a... magician – am I correct? Funny piece of mentalism, isn't it? "Not really," you might think since, after all, you're browsing this website. And that means you're most probably interested in gaffed Bicycle playing cards – i.e. that kind of playing cards Muggles or average citizens do not even care about. The only exception being if they're handed one of these cards by a magician with a nice little flourish.

Do you use Bicycle playing cards in your own magic? Do you work with them every day? Yet, how much do you actually know about your cards? How many colors are used in printing a single Bicycle playing card? Four? Five?

ZoomGranted, most people couldn't care less... but I (being a graphic artist and having worked on innumerable printing projects) did care! So, I bothered to peer through a magnifying glass for you. take a look at the picture on the left: this is a cutout section taken from the Queen of Diamonds. A maximum of four different colors of printing ink (often called spot colors ) are used on a single playing card: blue, yellow, red and black.

Another detail one can observe in the picture is a technique called "overlap of colors" or "trapping" (closely look at the yellow sections) which is used to prevent unprinted paper from showing in the final printed product. This little "trick" is necessary because mass production of playing cards is a rather fast process, which often involves mechanical shifts and stretching of the paper used. As a result, the registration precision when two (or more) colors are printed on top of one another has a certain degree of tolerance (sometimes causing visible gaps if sections of different colors were lined up instead of overlapping).

This is why some areas would usually appear green (overlap of yellow and blue), while others would seem to be a different kind of "black" than is usually used in Bicycle playing cards (overlap of red and blue). I eventually managed to accommodate for this phenomenon in my revised printing data for my playing card series – the printing data I use contains each of these different layers of Bicycle colors (seperately, that is!). If, for example, you just need the blue layer for a certain effect... why not? Just ask.

Merely scanning a playing card and subsequently manipulating and printing it out would never reach such a high quality. In fact, no one else in the entire world is able to provide playing cards of the same superior quality I'm offering, with USPCC being the only exception, of course. But even then, I not only scanned the cards, I completely vectorized the images so I can scale them to any size without quality loss.

Have any image of your choice printed on 100% genuine Bicycle playing cards! Yes, you heard right: 100% genuine. In order to be able to offer you this service, I use special kinds of Bicycle playing cards, namely "blank face/red back", "blank face/blue back", "blank back", or "blank face/blank back" cards. In case you ever tried to print on such cards, you probably found this impossible to do. The ink (or toner, if you have a laser printer) just doesn't stick to the card. The reason for this is the kind of finish used on Bicycle playing cards. Not only does this finish prevent the cards from getting warped, it also prevents you from printing on them. Consequently, the finish layer has to be removed before any additional printing process can be applied to a card. When printing is over, the cards then must be re-sealed (i.e. one needs to apply a new finish) – the finish I use is pretty much as close to the quality of the finish used by USPCC as can be.

And I´ve got good news for you: if you ever need a gaffed Bicycle playing card in larger quantity (say 200+) I found the possibility to get them printed in a way that even if looking very closely you could not see differences from a card printed directly at USPCC. The gaffed image will be printed directly onto the original Bicycle finish so they will even fan perfectly. Just contact me to get more information about the possibilities!

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