Card Designs for Belle of the Ball

Back of the Guest Cards
County: Wineberry. Mood: Chatty. Interest: food. Power: Mingle. Popularity: 2
County: Dundifax. Mood: Flirty. Interest: Music. Power: Mingle. Popularity: -1, +6 if in a group.
County: Boarbottom. Mood: Chatty. Interest: Drink. Power: Extra Invite for Richminster. Popularity: 0, +2 if in a group with a Boarbottom.
Drink Ribbon: Awarded to the player who has the most guests with Interest: Drink.
Back of the Belle Card

Belle Bonus: Have the most guests from County: Crawhole.
Belle Bonus: Have the lowest Popularity before any Friend Bonuses.

Above is a sample of the current card designs for Belle of the Ball. One thing I noticed from the SuperiorPOD prototypes was that large fields of solid color tended to have a subtle cloudiness. That's common with any digital printer. The easy way to get around it is to use naturalistic textures to mask those imperfections.

However, I use naturalistic or photorealistic rendered textures a LOT in my designs, so I decided to challenge myself with something different: 1) No bleeds. 2) All vector. The solutions you see above are heavily inspired by the current resurgence of fancy typographic posters and labels you might see on a tea package or a beer label.

The images are obviously placeholders for the time being, as are the names. The Belles' names are pulled from the Ada Lovelace directory of women scientists. Just 'cause.

You can see some of the specific art direction on the Guest cards. Particular guests will have monocles, hats, sashes or medals. These don't have bearing in the basic game, but might in expansions. For example, a Belle for collecting the most sashed guests.

I see how incongruous the brightly colored icons are against the hyper-detailed backgrounds. There is often a compromise between legibility and aesthetic coherence. In this case, I made the icons big, bold, and simple.


  1. Y'know, for me the icons being a weird fit is less about the colors than it is about their geometries being so ... un-intricate. I think you could keep the at-a-distance profiles still as they are -- triangle, hexagon, etc -- but fancy them up a bit in the details (border treatment, texturing, whatever), and still retain clarity. I could be wrong.

  2. I'd love to find suitable Victorian era engraved clip art objects.

  3. Doesn't Dover have acres of public domain clip art? Including Victorian era, I think.

    I will say the design seems a bit incongruous with the setting. If you were doing a early 20th century game, great. 19th or 18th century courtship, it has an odd vibe.

    It does look good, it just doesn't feed thematic.

  4. Ironically, part of reason the background is so modernist was to make it fit the icons better. :P


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