Collectable Cards

I have been looking into different collectable cards and what their approach was in terms of layout, illustration style, amount of information available and other elements they have chosen to include. Some of the cards shown below are part of trading card games like Pokemon, but I will not be focusing on creating a game it will be more about a brief history of each of the urban legends I choose and an illustration, perhaps showing the geographical origin of these myths as an extra element.

It is quite clear that the type of illustration varies greatly in complexity and style. Although the style of illustration can vary, it is the most important part of the design (obviously) and gives the rest of the design a certain feel to accompany them. The Avengers cards below has a withered vintage feel through the use of the yellowish tint on the cards and the bloodstains found on some of them which in a way reflect the origins of Captain America. Not all the illustrations in this series follow the same style and even the orientation of the cards is switched from horizontal to vertical in some of the designs. The illustrations however take up an entire side of the card and have text on the opposite side.


The Pokemon cards are probably one of the most famous and recognisable card games out there. Apart from the characters being from a very popular cartoon series the cards on their own became very popular. In this case it’s an actual card game which can be used for playing against other people or just simply to collect them. I personally used to collect them more than actually play with them. The print quality and detail that went into each one of these was what made them so special. They are all contained vibrant illustrations that didn’t take as much space as the avengers because of the need to add ‘power’ capabilities and descriptions below each one. Some of the cards would sometimes have a glossy and inline foil as part of the design to make them stand out even more as ‘special’ cards. These cards are also single sided so they can be placed facing down to hide them when playing against other people.

I would like to experiment with different printing methods and perhaps adding inline foiling as part of my designs or a glow in the dark ink. But I am not convinced as to how feasible this would be due to printing restrictions or requirements through some companies wanting big quantities of print at high prices and due to the brief size I will only be designing a few different outcomes.


Here is an approach at illustrating different graphic designers and giving a lighthearted description of each at the back. The illustration style is simple but effective at what they are trying to achieve. The back is not very text heavy and is laid out nicely.


I like what they have done with the cards below, using nice illustrations to demonstrate each city with a very minimal text description for each and a map on the back side. I may look into including a map for my designs as it will help show the country of origin of each myth.


The cards below show off more complex illustrations in quite a gritty style. The body text descriptions get a little lost with the background image set behind with what I think is the logo. This is not ideal but since it’s not much text to read it’s not too bad.


These Star Wars cards are purely focused on the illustration which are all concept art from the Star Wars Battlefront game. Cards like these don’t need much of a description because people that will want them will be the fans and they serve that purpose of being purely collectables. I do want to add some information to my designs so I will have to decide wether to add the text on the back side of make the illustration smaller to have it all on the same side and have a backside be a logo, or card name.





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