Trimming tarot decks - barbarism or helpful?

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Nemia
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Trimming tarot decks - barbarism or helpful?

Post by Nemia » 25 Sep 2017, 11:34

There are two types of people - the Pristine Users and the Cruel Users :-)

The Pristine User's shoes are unscuffed and perfect long after they were worn in; the Cruel User's shoes show wear and tear before the foot got used to it.

The Pristine User's tarot cards remain perfect after years of use, and they wouldn't dream to take the scissors to them. Yes, Pristine Users have been known to ask in tarot forums desperately where to find a replacement for their original Pamela B after their copy had a tiny crease in the Three of Swords. (Okay I invented that ;-) but you know the kind of people I'm talking about).

I'm a confessing Cruel User. I like things to become a bit scruffy over time, and if a deck is too excessively bordered in my opinion, I take my tailor's scissors (I don't sew anymore so no damage done!) and cut off the borders.

My first act of borderectomy was performed/committed many years before I discovered the joys of Internet forums. In addition to my perfectly perfect first deck, a little Thoth, I bought a large Thoth - and it was GREEEEN. Especially the borders.

So I cut them off. (Later, I also rounded the corners - I'm not sure today that that was a good decision).

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And then I discovered that my greenie Thoth looked great and that the cards interacted beautifully.

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Just look at the Fool and Temperance.

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They touch, they reach out to each other, they tell us something.

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When I saw on AT that more Cruel Users existed, all dams broke.

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I trimmed the Haindl. MUCH better!

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And the Cosmic. Even better!

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I trimmed quite a lot of decks.

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You can hardly see the difference in the Inner Child Cards, but they're certainly easier to handle.

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The Night Sun became a truly dark deck only after I trimmed the harmless white borders off and edged the cards in black.

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(to be continued, this post is picture-heavy already...)

ETA: I totally forgot that we have a thread about edging and trimming already, here - well, it's an evergreen topic :icon_e_biggrin: so I hope the community forgives me....

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CharlotteK
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Re: Trimming tarot decks - barbarism or helpful?

Post by CharlotteK » 25 Sep 2017, 11:52

I like edging black bordered decks with black ink. And some decks desperately need a trim. But I'm nervous about edging trimmed decks with black or other dark colours for fear of the ink bleeding into the cut edge and under the laminatuin. How did you stop this happening with your Night Sun?

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Nemia
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Re: Trimming tarot decks - barbarism or helpful?

Post by Nemia » 25 Sep 2017, 11:56

When I decided to trim the Pamela Colman-Smith Commemorative deck, I knew what effect I wanted. I understood her art by now and appreciated her strong black outlines. So I edged this deck heavily in order to get the same theatrical black frame she herself uses in her posters.

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For me, that's the PERFECT RWS.

While the trimmers trimmed on AT, more and more decks were published in borderless editions. It's more difficult to print without frames but the cards connect differently. The Silhouettes is my best example for a borderless deck that simply turns into a storyboard as soon as you put one card next to the other.

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So there are examples of decks born borderless :-)

My greatest trimming success was without a doubt the Lo Scarabeo deck,

Look at this abonimation of a border:

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This is horrible!

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These borders HAD to go. Who thought that these bland pseudo-Celtic-knotwork frames were a good idea?

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Off with them!

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The trimmed cards all of a sudden had a perfect size.

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I found a perfect little tin.

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I painted it and decorated it.

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And now my lovely, though a bit boob-focused Lo Scarabeo lives happily in its tin.

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Don't say this sacrilege would cut the creator of the deck to his heart!

Mark McElroy himself thought it's a good idea :-)

Btw, if you're interested - here is the old AT thread....

Are there decks I wouldn't trim? Oh yes. I wouldn't trim very rare or precious decks - no. I wouldn't trim decks that look great with borders, like Robert Place's decks or the Idiosyncradeck.

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And I wouldn't trim decks with especially beautiful borders like the Shadowscapes or the Touchstone.

So, what do you think....????

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tarotbear
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Re: Trimming tarot decks - barbarism or helpful?

Post by tarotbear » 25 Sep 2017, 13:27

I always figure - YOU paid for them, YOU can do anything you want with them!

Personally - from hereon in, any deck I design will have colored borders and not stark white ones....
There are three ways of looking at things; theirs, yours, and my Tarot cards.

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Barleywine
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Re: Trimming tarot decks - barbarism or helpful?

Post by Barleywine » 25 Sep 2017, 13:55

Barbarism, generally, since I don't pay any attention to borders unless they're really hideous. For that matter, I don't pay a lot of attention to the images either, beyond identifying which card is in front of me. But a few decks really need it. I might even use the DruidCraft if it were smaller.

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Re: Trimming tarot decks - barbarism or helpful?

Post by Sibylline » 25 Sep 2017, 14:15

I'm a raging barbarian all the way. I really don't understand how people keep their working decks in pristine shape. I seriously just don't get it. It's like seeing a unicorn in the middle of Times Square.

I have a particular ire for large publishers when they slap on a white border or, worse, throw some distracting horrendousness into the borders. I feel that does such a disservice to the artist's hard work...that is until my paper cutter corrects that injustice.

I agree, Nemia, the Thoth is infinitely better trimmed. It's like I've been looking at the Thoth all these years and never realized that taking off the borders is like putting on glasses. As an aside, I still don't understand how the Thoth hasn't been printed in a borderless version--if that happened, I think Amazon might explode.

We, barbarians, actually made a significant change in the tarot industry that started over on AT with the debordering threads. It took a veritable army of us to "liberate" LoS from those multilingual titles. And now let's sit back and count the ways mass market publishers are reissuing decks in borderless versions...

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Re: Trimming tarot decks - barbarism or helpful?

Post by theFeeLion » 25 Sep 2017, 14:35

I'm not really sure how I feel about trimming decks. I look at the ones that you have done Nemia and think they look wonderful but I'm not sure if I could do it myself. I think it comes down to a couple of things firstly, what if I make a mistake? There is no going back once started and if by chance, the edges are a bit wonky I know it'll become a distraction for me. And secondly, I was always taught as a child that books etc are precious and shouldn't be defaced. It is something that has always stuck with me so now I even hesitate writing my name in a book before lending it to someone.
Come faeries take me out of this dull world. For I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame. - W B Yeats

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CharlotteK
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Re: Trimming tarot decks - barbarism or helpful?

Post by CharlotteK » 25 Sep 2017, 14:40

Some publisher decisions I don't understand at all. Looking at you Schiffer. I'm not even going to talk about the cardstock and glossy lamination on the Star Tarot that makes these cards both slippery and grippy just when you don't want them to be... merely marvel at these borders!

The art is beautiful, the book is excellent, the borders are huge and make the cards enormous and not the easiest to handle. Dame Fortune's Wheel is alongside for size comparison. Trimming the sides and top borders off entirely would make it same dimensions as a Lo Scarabeo deck.

I'm kind of nervous about doing it but I think this deck would be so much the better for the chop.

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Re: Trimming tarot decks - barbarism or helpful?

Post by theFeeLion » 25 Sep 2017, 14:50

CharlotteKAT wrote:
25 Sep 2017, 14:40
Some publisher decisions I don't understand at all. Looking at you Schiffer. I'm not even going to talk about the cardstock and glossy lamination on the Star Tarot that makes these cards both slippery and grippy just when you don't want them to be... merely marvel at these borders!

The art is beautiful, the book is excellent, the borders are huge and make the cards enormous and not the easiest to handle. Dame Fortune's Wheel is alongside for size comparison. Trimming the sides and top borders off entirely would make it same dimensions as a Lo Scarabeo deck.

I'm kind of nervous about doing it but I think this deck would be so much the better for the chop.

Image
I totally agree with you! Those borders, while a lovely colour that suits the deck, are just WAY too large! Why does any deck need borders that big anyway?? You could always try trimming half of the border off first if you're nervous...
Come faeries take me out of this dull world. For I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame. - W B Yeats

May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with faeries and talk to the moon. - Unknown

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Re: Trimming tarot decks - barbarism or helpful?

Post by CharlotteK » 25 Sep 2017, 15:02

theFeeLion wrote:
25 Sep 2017, 14:50
CharlotteKAT wrote:
25 Sep 2017, 14:40
Some publisher decisions I don't understand at all. Looking at you Schiffer. I'm not even going to talk about the cardstock and glossy lamination on the Star Tarot that makes these cards both slippery and grippy just when you don't want them to be... merely marvel at these borders!

The art is beautiful, the book is excellent, the borders are huge and make the cards enormous and not the easiest to handle. Dame Fortune's Wheel is alongside for size comparison. Trimming the sides and top borders off entirely would make it same dimensions as a Lo Scarabeo deck.

I'm kind of nervous about doing it but I think this deck would be so much the better for the chop.

Image
I totally agree with you! Those borders, while a lovely colour that suits the deck, are just WAY too large! Why does any deck need borders that big anyway?? You could always try trimming half of the border off first if you're nervous...
Trimming half the border would actually be much harder because there's no guide line to follow. In this case I think it is all or nothing!

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