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For this exercise we worked side-by-side and took about 45 mins. Allot as much time as desired, depending on the amount of detail and thought this can take quite a bit of time! But my designers found it a lot of fun, so I hope you will too!



The challenge is to create a "tarot card" representative of a particular persona. We drew at random from a hat of characters that I compiled. Each designer had to think about what symbols and design elements would capture their chosen character and bring it to life. The goal was to create an image that would be identifiable without reading the label.

This chapter was inspired by these wonderful re-imagined tarot card designs by Lisa Sterle. I thought they were so much fun and I loved looking at all the details.

The history of tarot is ancient, and certainly the original designs are beautiful to look at. But I just love to see Ms. Sterle's creative interpretations. You can explore these designs on the creator's website here,

I thought it would be fun to take this same idea but change the subject matter. Because while I loved these modern interpretations, I found I couldn't relate to many of the characters. Which got me thinking...what are some personas that occupy our society? How would they look and what would they mean?

So I took terms that are commonly used to describe different types of people and their habits/lifestyles. "Coffee Junkie", "Sneakerhead", "Gym Rat" etc. Then put them together in a hat for my designers to choose from. I thought it would be important for them to be chosen at random, I didn't want my designers to have a pre-conceived notion of what they would want to draw.

Feel free to use mine or create your own, these are all the terms I came up with for the purposes of our exercise:

  • The Internet Troll

  • The Social Media Influencer

  • Coffee Junkie

  • The Basic Bit**

  • The Horader

  • The Dog Lover

  • The Cat Lady

  • The Sneakerhead

  • The Gym Rat

  • The Gamer

I think it would be so fun to create a whole deck! Especially if you were to really dig into the symbolism to create equivalent characters for tarot reading. But for our exercise we were just trying to create fun illustrations that capture the spirit of each persona.

For example in the "Coffee Junkie" illustration above; the lady is barefoot and wearing comfort if she just woke up, conveying that drinking coffee is her first act of the day. She rises her cup to the sun, an act of ritual and ceremony. This is indicative of how so many coffee junkies feel about coffee, as a sacred part of their day. Then if you notice there are 7 cups of coffee on the right side of the panel, representing each day of the week. She walks on a bed of coffee beans against a draped backdrop of coffee bean-patterned sheets.

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