Daniel Haire

Explore Cards

Start Date: 
November 2013
Explore Cards 

Illustration, Branding

Featured on: 
The Dieline
Design TAXI
Looks Like Good Design

The Task

Explore cards was a passion project that my client had wanted to start for quite some time. His love of cards drove him to develop a custom deck of his own. The theme of the deck is destination based, each card represents a different location on the planet. Each suite has a theme of its own:

  • Hearts, the most romantic cities 
  • Spades, the best architecture
  • Clubs, historical and ancient cities
  • Diamonds, the planet's most livable cities

Client ask:
"I want to create something so exclusive, so limited, so rare that people treasure and value them. The concept of Cardazine (Cards + Magazine) is a combination of visual illustrations of playing cards and the information of a magazine. Each release will feature a unique theme, the first of it being EXPLORE, a travel-themed deck of cards."

-Harris Soetikno


The Outcome

This project was number #18 on my design project bucket list. My love of architecture and illustration were finally united. Each card required me to study the history, culture, and building style of each city. This process allowed me to discover more about the world than I had learned in World History back in college.

The challenge was to strip away as much detail as possible from each building while still preserving a recognizable structure. By working with two different line weights and a minimal color palette I was able to recreate each city into a unique composition that was placed on each card. By selecting repeated elements throughout the cards and the most recognizable buildings from several cities, I was able to create a package that captured the spirit of the deck.

I was seeking for a particular style for this project, something simple yet able to display amazing architectures and nature around the globe. Daniel was able to deliver pictures that I have on my mind into illustrations that are beyond my expectation. I applaud Daniel’s creativity and ability to deliver high quality illustration!
— Harris Soetikno, Cardazine


Overall, this project was a dream to work on. The knowledge and style that I developed over the weeks of drawing these cards were invaluable. I feel as if I traveled around the globe without the uncomfortable temperature, fatigue, confusion, helplessness and panic that are usually associated with visiting new destinations.