Redesign personal project of the old classic Spanish playing cards deck 'La Baraja'.
This project began as many others, just as a thought, as a "what if...". I spent many hours of my childhood surrounded by board games and playing cards, specifically with the Spanish classic deck, same one that my grandpa used with his friends, the famous and internationally awarded in 1868 Heraclio Fournier's version.
This design has turned into an icon in popular culture. So many people from Ibero-American countries use to play with this version of playing cards, which boosted the creation of different games based on the characters and objects of the deck.
It was just one of those days, playing with friends, I took a look to the old but iconic illustrations of the deck and asked myself: "What if I try to redesign those cards, but keeping their essence and looking?" Just as a paint job, as a modestly attempt to improve what was many times awarded ages ago. Many redesigns of this deck have been made before, but often as cartoon versions, geometrical or simplified ones, as merchandising or promoted by a brand. I wanted to make a version that my granpa could have used with his friends without realising that was a different deck but the same after all.
Many days after this idea, many sketches and compiled information after, here is the result.
La Baraja (Spanish popular name which means The Deck") use to be a set of 48 cards, 50 if it has 2 Comodines (Jokers), divided in four different suits: Oros, Espadas, Copas and Bastos. I started working on the evolution of the basic icons that represent each of these suits, normally shown on pip cards from number 2 to 9 (except on number 2 and 3 of both Espadas
and Bastos, which have special designs).
'SOTA, CABALLO Y REY' (Faces Cards)
Three different characters appear on each suit, from cards number 10 to 12. From lower to higher value these are:
- La Sota (a page or squire which would be the equivalent to the Jack/Knave on French decks).
- El Caballo (literally "The Horse" which represents a horseman or knight).
- El Rey ("The King").
Taking the original Fournier's designs as a reference, a process of sketching, line work and colouring was made to complete each of the characters. Here is an example of the King of Swords working process.
The main purpose is to keep the shape and the postures of the original designs, but adding elements like armour pieces or swords to give the characters a more medieval/knight looking. Here you can see the difference between the old classic designs and the version I made for the Sotas, Caballos and Reyes of each suit.
LOS ASES (The Aces)
As the character cards, the aces have also a special design that make them look different to the rest.
Each suit has is own ace, and use to be one of the most iconic cards of the deck.
THE COMPLETE 'LA BARAJA'
Final looking of the deck with its 48 pip and faces cards and its packaging.