I came across the Type Tarot on gamecrafter.com. It is a self-published print-on-demand tarot deck created by Hurgle Studios. Wordsmiths and English Lit majors are going to go nuts for this cute novelty deck! It’s adorable! As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it.
If you thrive on words and writing, I know you’re going to gush a little over the Type Tarot. It’s inevitable. As a workable tarot deck, though, I think that’s about where Type Tarot ends: as an incredibly fun, kitschy novelty deck for your collection.
Most of the design and layout is minimalist and handsome, with what I’ll call (but leave undefined) a hipstery aesthetic. Except… to print “TYPE TAROT” on the card backs was… ack! Why?!
The box was too big for the deck. I’m starting to wonder if this is an issue from Gamecrafter’s end. I have bought two other decks from Gamecrafter before. For one, again, the box was too big for the deck. For the other, the velveteen drawstring bag was too small for the deck. Here again, there is a size mismatch with the packaging.
The little white booklet (little black booklet? anyway, I’ll still call it LWB) is really lovely as well. According to the LWB and the product description for Type Tarot at Gamecrafter, this deck is targeted at tarot beginners.
I adore this novelty deck, but a beginner’s tarot deck it is not.
Again, I think this is a production issue from Gamecrafter that the creators of these decks have no control over, the deck comes out of order.
The Majors are colored, and at first I thought maybe they would be color-coded by elements or something, but I’m not sure of the rationale behind the color choices. I couldn’t figure it out. The Minors are on white cardstock.
The premise for the deck is each card contains an artistic arrangement of keywords for the corresponding card. I am assuming the artistic arrangement is automatically generated because you’ll get some odd choices of words in larger font size than the other key words, e.g., the word “also” appearing quite large in a few of the cards.
The keywords on each card with the deck targeted at beginners learning tarot for the first time concerns me a bit. I think at best, using this deck as maybe flashcards for a supplemental learning tool to your tarot deck would be good, but as a beginner’s deck? I wouldn’t recommend it.
Some of the large size keywords on these cards are disconcerting to me, but I also believe in the infinite ways we can interpret a card, so here for me it’s not a judgment of right or wrong keywords. I just think that it’s one interpretation of the cards, which is provocative to an intermediate or seasoned tarot practitioner. My fear is that rather than be liberating, these cards could be limiting to a beginner, as a beginner comes to rely on just these words exclusively, and not learn tarot as an intuitive divinatory system.
Now, these cards are still an incredible divination tool, as I will get to, though I may use it in a slightly different way from how I would typically approach a tarot reading.
I got tired of taking snapshots of all the cards and after the Wands and Cups, felt like if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all, so above for the Swords and Pentacles, there are only five cards from each suit.
Sort of kind of (but not really) like bibliomancy, how I’d use this deck for divination is to draw cards at random and drop my finger down onto certain keywords, or note which keywords on each card jump out at me. Those keywords that I’ve pulled out would then be the divinatory result, and I’d interpret the significance of those keywords to the situation at hand.
The cards are really beautiful in terms of graphic design and are so modern and hip. I love that Devil card. It looks like something you’d put inside a cream-colored mat border and then in a thin black or silver frame, and hang it in your ultra-hip, ultra-contemporary posh-minimalist living room.
I forgot to mention how cool the silhouette of each suit symbol is in the background of each Minor card. The whole layout of each card makes Type Tarot perfect for that bibliomancy-ish form of divination I was talking about.
I confess I don’t completely follow some of the keyword choices or the choice for certain words to be much larger than the others, but I do love the concept. Again, great, great novelty deck. It’s a very cool concept.
But why, oh why would the deck creators print “TYPE TAROT” on the card backs…
Overall, the Type Tarot is a fun deck that I’m glad to add to my collection. Everything considered, it was a bit overpriced, but that comes with the territory of buying self-published tarot decks.