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Mono Xero Playing Cards

London-based graphic designer Luke Wadey is known for his popular Grid series of typographic playing cards. He's previously also published the Mono - X deck (2018), which was a minimalistic black and white deck that embraced monochrome and was created with card flourishers in mind.

Now in 2019 we've been presented with the next members of the Mono family, with the Mono Xero decks. This a pair of matching decks that continue to explore single colour palettes - this time in blue and in red - combined with a distinctive pattern and texture. When placed side-by-side, decks form a pattern that is based on the design of the card backs.


The name Xero represents how these decks are a natural follow-up from Mono X, since Luke found himself working on a similar style but now with an O. Like the gradient of blacks in the Mono X deck, the Mono Xero decks use gradients to emphasize a single colour. The blue deck features deep blue on the tuck box and card backs, while The card faces utilize dark blue for the spades and clubs and bright blue for the hearts and diamonds, to ensure that the suits are still sufficiently distinguished. The red deck adopts a similar approach, with a deep red colour and a bright red colour being the two colours of choice, to maintain a monochrome colour palette.

The card backs have a two-way design, with the overall style consistent with that of the Mono X deck. Varying line widths are a main feature, in conjunction with the clever use of negative space, and there's a distinct "O" shape in the center of the card. Parts of the design also spill to the edges of the card, creating a semi-borderless effect that will enhance fans and spreads. There's a lot here for cardists to appreciate, because all the elements of the design come together nicely when the cards are in motion.


The style of the pips and indices on the card faces are mostly inherited from this deck's predecessor as well, and so are the custom court cards. But there are some differences, notably the diagonal patterns of lines on the edges of the cards, which offer a distinctive pattern for each suit, to enhance easy recognition of the suits as well as to add some further personality to flourishes.

There's also a revamped Ace of Spades design, and all new Jokers that are inspired by the pattern on the card backs. An ad card and a double backer help bring up the total card count to 56. Like the previous Mono X deck, the Mono Xero decks are printed by Cartamundi, but instead of using their thicker B9 True Linen finish, these newer decks are printed on Cartamundi's thinner Slim-Line stock. Cardists in particular will love the soft and supple handling this cardstock offers, in conjunction with an inspiring graphic design.


BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame - click here to see all my pictorial reviews: => Magic Reviews <==> Playing Card Reviews <==> Board Game Reviews <==
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