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Focus Playing Cards

The Focus deck is something that fans of photography will especially like, but it will have appeal for anyone who appreciates a well-themed deck where one concept has been applied to all the artwork. The designer is world-renowned Adam Borderline, who is famous for his incredible photography on his Instagram account [link], where he specializes in stunning close-up pictures of fluids and playing cards.

Adam describes himself as a "visual photographic artist", so it's no surprise that he has a love for the tool of his trade - the camera - to which this deck is a tribute.


While less abstract than his previous deck designs, both called "Untitled", Focus Playing Cards do a great job of capturing something of the photographer's kitbag, specifically the mechanical elements of a camera. The tuck box emphases a classic black and white look typical of the photography world, while the red circular curves evoke the idea of camera lenses. Key words like Exposure, Aperture, and Focus in crisp white adorn the sides and front of the box, and a stylish AB seal completes a very custom look.

The card backs pick up the minimalist design from the tuck box, but add shapes and lines that bring to mind the frame of a camera, its multitude of lenses, and its mechanics. It's still abstract enough to function as a pattern, and yet there are elements here that suit the theme of the deck well. The red circular curves add some style and colour to ensure that the result is completely bland. Close observers will notice a subtle one-way design, which will go unnoticed by most.

While the face cards are mostly traditional, the camera theme has been applied by reducing the colour scheme for the Hearts and Diamonds to black, red, and yellow, and for the Spades and Clubs to black and white. The black and white look is a deliberate design choice intended to evoke the feel of classic black and white photography.


Other elements of the deck continue the familiar look of a standard deck, to ensure that these playing cards will still be well suited to card games or magic. As usual there is customization on the Ace of Spades, which features a giant pip incorporating a camera shape.

The matching Jokers both feature a black camera shape inside a red bordered hexagon, continuing the simple choice of colours, and picking up design elements that are also found on the card backs and tuck box.

Printing is by USPCC using their standard air cushion finish, so you can be confident that these playing cards will handle well. This is a fine example of a well-themed deck, which does a good job of combining tradition with minimalism, contemporary style, and a solid theme.


Where to get it? This deck is available at your favourite Murphy’s Magic retailer. Visit the Murphy's Magic page for this product here.

BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame - click here to see all my pictorial reviews: => Magic Reviews <==> Playing Card Reviews <==> Board Game Reviews <==
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Review: Focus Playing Cards (Adam Borderline) (0 Likes)
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