An Ace in the Hole for Malouf Playing Cards          

HOW In-House Design Awards 2018 Outstanding Award Winner!

CATEGORY Business-to-Business


WHAT WE LOVE “Great illustrations and the foil-stamp put this over the top.”

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The Malouf playing card deck was developed as gift to give to business partners during Las Vegas tradeshow events. The cards are also included in a gift box given to all new hires at Malouf’s corporate office. Those familiar with the brand have had fun exploring the unique yet familiar patterns, materials and elements that represent Malouf’s dedication to comfortable sleep: sun and moon motifs, product materials and patterns used throughout Malouf product packaging.

Cutting the Deck

The intricate outer tuck case design is printed using a heat pressed gold foil over a velvety soft touch finish paper, with certain design elements embossed to further add to the texture and tactile experience. Each deck is completed with a custom designed gold foil seal over the opening of the outer tuck case. The cards themselves are treated with a textured aqueous coating that serves as a protective layer and allows the cards to slide easily against one another, which aids in playability. The high-quality paper and textured finish of the deck complement the tuck case and ensure a premium experience for the user both inside and out.

“We wanted this project to be highly collaborative, so the work was divided among several designers,” Andrews says. “As a result, one of the challenges we faced was consistency in design. As we went along, we noticed subtle variations across designs—anything from simple line width differences to various stylistic choices. All of these differences had to unified among 56 unique cards (split between four designers) before the project could be completed.”

Meaningful Suits

Andrews says recipients love considering all the details and trying to pinpoint elements they recognize. “Since we are a sleep product company, the deck integrates elements that pertain to our unique brand patterns seen on product packaging as well as materials used in our products,” he says. “For example, the queens in the deck are holding a cotton boll in their hand instead of the traditional flower. Jacks are holding flax seed or bamboo. We also wanted to play with a night-and-day element, since Malouf is dedicated to helping people get better sleep for better days. The black suits represent the nighttime and incorporate moons and stars. The traditionally red suits were changed to gold with stylized sun elements to represent sunshine. The jokers are also a play on night and day. The cards incorporate all of these elements, and the accounts and employees that have received the cards have been impressed with the level of detail and consideration put into the design.”

Ultimately, they serve as a fun brand touchpoint that strengthens Malouf’s reputation as an innovative, creative company in a very mature industry.

This project won the Outstanding Achievement Award in the Business-to-Business Category of the HOW In-House Design Awards for 2018. 

Malouf Playing Cards

Malouf, Graphic Design Department, Logan, UT; Chad Andrews, Cullen Duncan, Olivia Godfrey, Amber Evertsen, Shaun Bailey (creative team)

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