The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published June 15, 2022 Updated July 28, 2022

Sirocco Playing Cards

Sirocco, nautical themed playing cards by Riffle Shuffle Playing Card Co. and designed by Nathan Oser, 2020.

2020 Canada Cartamundi Riffle Shuffle Playing Card Co. Nathan Oser Kickstarter Luxury Myths & Legends Navy Pirates Add to Collection

Above: detail from one of the jokers. See details from the tuck flap.

Sirocco Playing Cards were produced by Kevin Yu, the owner of Riffle Shuffle Playing Card Company, after raising CAD$30,927 (USD$24,568) from 424 backers on Kickstarter in 2020. The cards are available in two editions, the Modern Edition (reviewed here) and the Weathered Limited Edition (see box), the artwork on the cards is essentially the same in each edition. The Weathered Limited Edition is limited to 1500 decks, while the Modern Edition is limited to 2500 decks.

Kevin Yu collaborated with author, illustrator and brand designer Nathan Oser to create the artwork for the pack, who drew inspiration from his own coastal life explaining "the spade is a relaxing dream-like beach scene (the very first idea imagined for the deck)". The club is based on an actual event that happened near where Nathan lives.


Kevin Yu says "the playing card deck was created to inspire people who are on a journey". The card design is based on the wind, which can either help or hinder someone on their journey. Inspiration was drawn from the idea of celebrities and movie stars at their European vacation villas, where the deck is intended to entertain guests, show off at sailing competitions or pass time on private cruises.

Above: click the artwork to see the details.

Regarding the design, it's noted that "in the Modern Edition we’ve broken a couple rules and inverted the norm here by using lighter values for the outlines and darker tones for the fills. This gives the court figures a marble patina of celadon green and marina blue in the spades and clubs, and coral pink and grenadine red in the hearts and diamonds."

Kevin Yu explains that the back (shown to the right) "design is a veritable sea chart waiting to be navigated, with a central compass rose and five flowing rings (known as a "quincunx") to put you at the helm of your own destiny". There are also life preservers, a harpoon and trident, an oar and feather, sea turtles, doves, and a stylized waves, coral reefs, thriving seagrass and hidden pearls. The mermaids trumpeting their conch shells "provide a warning hurricane siren and a cheer to drive you onward". Everything is up for individual interpretation.

There are 55 cards in the deck: 52 playing cards, 2 jokers, 1 gaff cards. The gaff cards serve as advertisements for Riffle Shuffle Playing Card Company.

The Box Modern Edition

The Modern Edition features sharp lines, meticulous composition, and guardian mermaids, while the Weathered Limited Edition features an innovative new method of digital texturing that promises to produce the most realistic wear and tear out there.

The box is "not just a work of art, but a token of a lifestyle and experience".

Speaking of the box Riffle Shuffle says "the 'color ravine' paper is durable and highly textured to give it an impasto effect that brings to mind the stucco and stone views of enduring Greek, French, and Italian shorelines."

"With gold and silver paired foiling, intricate embossing, and double-sided printing all carefully planned and stamped on a matte royal blue ‘beauty skin‘ paper, it’s an indulgence that Riffle Shuffle are working hard to make affordable to all."

You’ve never seen a box with stock quite like this.

Above: the back.

Top Row: the two jokers, the wind gods, Zephyr and Aeolis, are often seen as fickle and temperamental deities. In this image, Sciron is pouring out his jar of fierce and thunderous winds, while Apeliotes holds the fruits of her harvest. These two figures represent the obstacles and rewards that can be found on a journey. Bottom Row: the Diamond card represents a yacht being driven by the wind. The Club card is based on an event where an entire lighthouse was blown away by a typhoon. The Heart card represents a celebration of tying the knot with a loved one. The Spade card in the deck represents a relaxing beach scene, the first idea imagined for the deck.

Above: the Navigator, the Vacationer, the Romantic, The Scholar, The Seductress, The Sportsman, the Racer, the Loner, the Celebrity, the Photog, the Student Abroad, and the Captain are all featured in the court cards.

Top Row: the jacks. Bottom Row: each number card sports an italicized index to build a sense of immediacy and momentum. The Modern Edition uses lighter values for the outlines and darker tones for the fills, while the Weathered Limited Edition uses vibrant yellow, soft blue, and playful pink.

Top Row: top of the box.

Above: bottom of the box showing the Riffle Shuffle Playing Card Company logo, trademark and the artists byline; printed in gold.

References

avatar
153 Articles

By Adam Wintle

Member since March 15, 1997

Adam has been involved in developing the site as well as reviewing new decks and conducting research. He is particularly interested in innovation, Kickstarter and East Asian cards. He is a member of the IPCS and webmaster of the EPCS.


Related Articles

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

A limited edition art print of the 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Queen of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

2022 Quên Tarot

Quên Tarot

A mystical voyage of love and self-discovery created by Duy Khanh Vo.

Discover trains of North America

Discover trains of North America

55 different Illustrations of railways and locomotives from the United States.

1975 Poker Lusso

Poker Lusso

Richly costumed courts on a luxury poker pack from Masenghini.

1994 Music playing cards

Music playing cards

Portraits of 13 classical music composers.

1980 Club Soft Drinks

Club Soft Drinks

Promotional pack for Club soft drinks with amusing illustrations of different kinds of ‘club’.

2002 Valhalla spillekort

Valhalla spillekort

Characters from the Valhalla comics, designed by Peter Madsen, as commemorated on a Danish stamp.

2008 High School Musical 3: Senior Year

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

American teen film depicting students staging their last spring musical.

2020 Commoners playing cards

Commoners playing cards

Created by Ian Cumpstey dedicated to the common land and the countryside.

2019 Liber Ludorum

Liber Ludorum

Liber Ludorum playing cards created by Ian Cumpstey in the insular style, United Kingdom, 2019.

2018 Pike and Clover playing cards

Pike and Clover playing cards

Pike and Clover playing cards created by Ian Cumpstey, Cumbria, UK, 2018.

2023 Inglewood Hunting Deck

Inglewood Hunting Deck

Inglewood Hunting Deck created by Ian Cumpstey, United Kingdom, 2023.

2004 The Beatles • Yellow Submarine

The Beatles • Yellow Submarine

A colourful deck celebrating the 1968 animated feature film based on the Lennon/McCartney song of th...

1970 Loewe: Moda Europea Siglo XVII

Loewe: Moda Europea Siglo XVII

Luxury pack for the Spanish fashion house Loewe, with 17th century costume designs by Margot Hamilto...

2013 Past Masters’ Association Presentation Pack

Past Masters’ Association Presentation Pack

The Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards Past Masters’ Association Presentation Pack, 2013....

Calon Arang • Калон Аранг - Бали

Calon Arang • Калон Аранг - Бали

Calon Arang, a figure from 12th-century Javanese and Balinese folklore known as a witch skilled in b...

2016 Tuxedo playing cards

Tuxedo playing cards

Stylish ‘Tuxedo’ playing cards with animal faces created by Natalia Silva, USA, 2016.

2020 Alice in Wonderland: we’re all mad here

Alice in Wonderland: we’re all mad here

Alice in Wonderland themed playing cards, UK, 2020.

1825 Mythological tarot by Michael Schatzberger

Mythological tarot by Michael Schatzberger

Mythological tarot by Michael Schatzberger, Passau, Bavaria, early 19th century.

2005 B-Deck

B-Deck

“B-Deck” scurrilous playing cards poking fun at a former UK prime minister.

2017 Russian folk art playing cards

Russian folk art playing cards

Russian folk art playing cards produced by Natalia Silva, USA, 2017.

2016 Trump playing cards

Trump playing cards

Trump playing cards produced by the Godesky brothers, USA, 2016.

2020 5th Kingdom playing cards

5th Kingdom playing cards

5th Kingdom Luxury playing cards designed by Maria Fedoseeva, USA, 2020.

Mythological and Allegorical tarot

Mythological and Allegorical tarot

Mythological and Allegorical tarot produced by Peter Paul Fetscher junior, Munich.

2023 The Tarot Strikes Back

The Tarot Strikes Back

Roy Huteson Stewart's The Tarot Strikes Back combines Star Wars with Rider-Waite tarot imagery.

Don’t come back

Don’t come back

“Don’t come back” playing cards produced by Hounslow NHS Primary Care Trust and Feltham Young Offend...

2023 House of Tudor

House of Tudor

Randy Butterfield's House of Tudor playing cards feature detailed art in a high-quality collectible ...

1994 Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Famous people associated with Nicolas Fouquet’s splendid château of Vaux-le-Vicomte.

2015 Branle playing cards

Branle playing cards

‘Branle’ playing cards inspired by a 12th-century dance, produced by Noir Arts, USA, 2015.

2009 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Pack featuring six images from the Disney film of the same name, on cards made for Eastern Europe.

2015 Mardi Gras playing cards

Mardi Gras playing cards

Mardi Gras playing cards illustrated by Dave Edgerly, USA, 2015

2016 Romeo and Juliet playing cards

Romeo and Juliet playing cards

Romeo and Juliet playing cards illustrated by Belgian artist Virginie Carquin 2016.

2019 Murphy Varnish pack

Murphy Varnish pack

Reproduction of the 1883 Murphy Varnish transformation pack, USA, 2019

1985 Een Kaartspel

Een Kaartspel

Minimalist playing cards from The Netherlands

2015 Aztec Codex playing cards

Aztec Codex playing cards

Aztec Codex playing cards illustrated by Emmanuel Valtierra, USA, ©2015.

1994 The Age of Dinosaurs playing cards

The Age of Dinosaurs playing cards

Dinosaurs from different ages and locations, with artwork by Virginijus Poshkus.

2019 Tarot of the Unknown

Tarot of the Unknown

Inspired by the Halloween Cartoon “Over the Garden Wall”.

2020 Eclipse Comic playing cards (reproduction)

Eclipse Comic playing cards (reproduction)

Eclipse Comic playing cards is a reproduction of the first transformation pack printed in the USA in...

1690 Hand-painted and Silk-inlaid playing cards

Hand-painted and Silk-inlaid playing cards

Complete pack of 36 hand-painted and silk-inlaid playing cards with French suits made in Germany.

2018 Old West Guns

Old West Guns

Old West Guns playing cards containing information about firearms from the Old West, USA.

1986 Clamcleats playing cards

Clamcleats playing cards

Clamcleats playing cards for sailors designed by Celia Allison, New Zealand, 1986.