Vanda Cards - Well Designed playing cards

Designer David Goldklang got in touch with me recently to show me some beautifully designed playing cards he had designed and I asked if he would be interested in sharing his story.

David Goldklang DesignerTara: Please could you tell me a little bit about yourself, where you are based and  what you do?

David: I’m a graphic designer living in San Francisco, California. I’m currently working for Deanne Delbridge at Creative Focus. We offer creative consulting for photographers as well as design of branding, websites, portfolios, and other collateral. Additionally I work as a freelance designer for clients around the world, specializing mostly in branding and web design.

Tara: You have created a set of beautifully designed playing cards called Vända cards, please could you tell me what inspired you to create them and where the name came from?

David: Thanks, Tara!

My life seems to be filled with playing cards – I’ve always been very interested in cards, games, and puzzles and I’ve played quite a bit of poker. Also, my brother Jordan is a professional magician and typically has dozens of card decks sitting around. Designing a deck of cards is a fantastic project because it’s a perfect opportunity to really let your creativity free – there are so many different elements to design that have to work together and a basic structure to follow, but the possibilities are endless in terms of theme, style, and colors. So I suppose it was inevitable that I would eventually design a card deck.

The name Vända was Jordan’s idea. It’s a Swedish term meaning ‘turn/reverse/twist’ which is incredibly apt because it describes some of the ‘color change’ effects that are used by magicians as well as the deck’s complete rotational symmetry – a feature that is entirely unique to the Vända deck. It also inspired me to design an ambigrammatic (rotationally-symmetrical) logo.

Tara: What was your design process?

David: All of the design features included in the deck were first sketched on paper. It began several months ago with exploring different typographic concepts for the court cards. I went through a number of variations before deciding on ones that really worked well. I particularly like the design of the kings and those seem to be favorite cards for many people who have seen the deck. I also spent considerable time developing the center pips for the spades, clubs, and hearts. My goal was to develop unique symbols that were rotationally symmetrical and worked well alongside the traditional suit icons.

Vanda cards

Tara: You have launched a Kickstarter project for the cards please could you tell me a bit about what you hope to achieve from the campaign?

David: The goal is to raise enough money to cover the cost of printing the decks properly. In addition to the actual printing costs, there’s the expense of artwork setup by the printer, proof copies, shipping, and project/transaction fees. The cards will be printed on Bee casino-quality stock by the US Playing Card Company and will look and feel exactly like those used in most casinos in Las Vegas and around other parts of the world. Getting the world’s best quality of cards isn’t cheap and that’s why I’m looking for support from the Kickstarter community.

Tara: Do you have plans to create more future designs?

Absolutely! I already have ideas for further editions of the Vända cards as well as other completely new design concepts. I’ve also been talking to some friends about designing themed playing card decks to help promote other businesses such as music groups. I really hope this project is successful because I would love the opportunity to produce more of my designs and share them with all the card enthusiasts out there.

Tara: Where can people find out more about you and Vända cards?

David: Right now the best place to go is the kickstarter page
I’ve also created a Vända cards facebook page where I will be running promotional drawings to win free Vända cards and accessories (just ‘like’ the page to be eligible to win):
The official website for Vända cards is

vanda cards backs

Vanda Cards Box