Tony D'Amico


Robot Playing Card Process

Inspiration comes in many different forms and the beautiful thing about it, it keeps on feeding if you let it. This deck of Robot Playing Cards is a project that the inspiration kept giving until I came to the final (maybe?) and I really enjoyed the process. Here is some insight into the process which inspired me to create this deck of cards, the stickers, and pin.

Back to the beginning where it started to materialize.

I took a 3D class and our assignment was to use clay to create a figure in motion. Clay is just not a medium I like working with, seriously I hate how messy it is. I end up washing my hands constantly, making it very unproductive. I just don’t like it… I pitched to the professor to let me do a found objects piece instead and she was down, I was stoked! Shannon (my wife) was really into estate sales and it was a great way to find old random parts to put something together. I decided to create a robot.

This is how that project came together.

I was stoked with how it turned out! The shape, the excited emotion on its face, how all of the pieces worked together, and even the size of it made it look like a little kid running up to you when you saw standing on the floor. It seemed to have a personality of its own.

At the same time, I had to design a logo in a color theory class, and for some reason I couldn’t get the little robots face out of my head and decided to roll with that for my logo, calling it ACME ROBOT COMPANY, mind you I didn’t care about the name, just wanted to design the robot head.

From there, I started to build on that face and created these Robot “Head Shot” illustrations for a personal project. I created these two with plans to do more, but I put it on hold since I didn’t have the time.

Fast forward a bit and the AIGA group at our school was polling students, teachers and alumi to pick a card and design one to go into a deck. I chose the two of Spades… In searching for inspiration, I found this foam shape while hanging with my kids at Discovery Gateway, I thought the shape was really interesting and thought it would be great for the spade pip. I was amped on how it turned out.

The card idea come into play because I needed a self-directed project to put into my Senior Portfolio. I thought, “This will be easy, I have a pip and a two robot faces that I could use as the court cards.” Oh, was I wrong… I spent countless hours of editing, printing, refining, aligning, double checking, grid changes, template changes, drawing, lines, colors, etc… I finally had my first version that would go in my portfolio and I feel it wasn’t complete. The pips, type and the three court cards (duplicated over the suits) just didn’t seem finished, but it was for the time being. 


Over the next few months after graduating, I decided to rally and finish this project. I started sketching and refining the layouts of the court cards and I was able to finish each suit with a set of robots to match each other in style, and in my mind, personality.

This project was one that I thoroughly enjoyed and watching the process of inspiration was such a great reminder that we need to stay inspired as a creative!

Tony D'AmicoComment