Le jeu de Tarot Païen

Matière Grasse would like to introduce a new handmade tarot cardgame for Christmas !!

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Le jeu de Tarot Païen


The Pagan Tarot is a tarot game (based on the "French" tarot) designed by Joseph Levacher and editted by Matière Grasse. The objective is to introduce in pre-sale an object which gives a contemporary designer's take on the traditionnal imagery of playing cards, and that through an, from start to finish, entirely hand-made object ! And all that with the aim of getting them through to you before Christmas this year !

(as the game isn't printed yet, the attached pictures are only simulations, but the real product will only be more beautiful ;))

The Pagan Tarot is intended to be contemporary AND following the tradition of late 18th century revolutionary games. Indeed, following the French Revolution, kings, queens and jacks were chased out of playing cards to be replaced by other figures (geniuses, liberties, virtues...) which were found outside of the monarchic tradition (example to follow).

Like those revolutionary attempts, Pagan Tarot does not believe in kings, queens and all those figures, as familiar as they might be, which perpetuate a particular hierarchical order which pairs with its share of inequalities : gender, class, age...

In our game, the figures' worth does not depend on the person represented but on their attire and their meaning : Elements, Stellar objects (Astres, in French), Seasons, Values (Sentiments, in French), new figures that we introduce through this Pagan Tarot !

Besides, "Pagan" comes from latin "paganus" which means "villager", "peasant". These villagers are not belligerent but be careful for they won't hesitate to use their rifles to protect all the nice things that are theirs to defend !


Apart from the few differences described above, the Pagan Tarot will share the same framework as the "classical" tarot game : 78 cards among which 14 spades, clubs, hearts and diamonds + 21 numbered trump card and 1 Excuse (the "Fool") !

Still following the idea of relying on tradition to offer something new, for printing, we plan on using the woodblock printing technique, used in the first centuries of card games' production (around the 14th century). HOWEVER, to reproduce the delicate and elegant (!) line of Joseph while keeping the wood texture, we will be using a laser for the engraving !

The whole game will be printed by Matière Grasse using the fantastic Heidelberg printing machines, German machinery treasures of the 60s which shame the idea of planned obsolescence (see below).

The game will be printed on recycled paper (Favini Freelife Kendo 200g) which will then receive a mat lamination to protect the printing and to ensure the gliding of the cards !

The box of the game will be printed in foilstamp (YOLO) on an amazing paper (Curious Matter by Arjo Wiggins) ! Everything will then be cut/folded by hand with love and determination ! (see below some examples of one of these exciting steps : ordering the cards and the round edge cutting of the cards !)


Joseph Levacher is the Pagan Tarot designer. He received his training in the engraving workshops of l'Ecole Estienne in Paris before joining in the book workshop of Strasbourg's HEAR. He draws, tattoos, writes stories and makes books. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mathieu Zanellato is the editor/printer of this project. He created a few years ago Matière Grasse editions that make doing painful, costly and by no means profitable projects that no one else would have bother editing a point of honor.

He edits books, posters, t-shirts, card games, wallpaper… basically everything that can bear with thick coats of ink and his strong passion for printed matter. Since 2019, he use Tarn located Studio Pression’s machines to print in woodcut, linocut, letterpress, foilstamp, stencil and many others’ productions.

Matière Grasse has already been using crowdfunding for a linocut project in 2013, L'ENFER VERT, for a contemporary illustration magazine, Matière Grasse 2, and more recently for an Italian card game, SCOPA WORLDWIDE and a playing card game (poker like) all in linocut again : GUILLOTINE (see below)!


We offer here a pre-purchase of our Pagan Tarot at a discount price as if we achieve to sell up to 100 games, we will be sure to recover costs and that even with a cheaper price ! The objective of the project being to have the means to edit the nicest object possible rather than cashing in on it !

The game will be sold 35 euros but we offer here a preferential tariff of 30 euros.

We also set in place a solidary reduced tariff for those who cannot afford to spend a lot on a card games but who would still like to treat themselves or others to something special for the holidays ! This reduced tariff of 20 euros, which roughly represents the costs price (paper, printing forms, inks...), does not however remunerate the designer nor the editor, thus to be used sparingly

Waar dient de collecte voor

We want to introduce an original manually printed and shaped card game which usually cost a lot of money. Now, it is very important for Matière Grasse that this game is kept accessible to as many people as possible without having to make concessions on production quality.

To minimize costs, we won't be subcontracting any step of the printing (except the production of ink and paper, that we are not mastering yet), but seeing how much work that entails, we would like to make sure that our Pagan Tarot will find buyers and that it will not be rotting in our stocks ! We are opposed to mass production and the paper and energy waste it represents; therefore, we prefer to print the number of card games that we know we will sell (adding samples for fairs etc…).

Here are some numbers : we plan on 2000 euros total :

  • 800 euros for the paper
  • 500 euros for wood matrices
  • 200 euros the foilstamp brass plate (for the box)
  • 100 euros in inks
  • 300 euros for the mat lamination
  • 160 euros for KissKissBankBank


You can add to the purchase of the Pagan Tarot some other editions, all handprinted by Matière Grasse :

Scopa WorldWide (italian card game, 40 cards divided in Sticks, Swords, Coins and Cups, cards in silkscreen, box in foilstamp)


Matière Grasse 3 (collective book on the topic of the Tarot de Marseille, 9 artists, 50 pages, inside in risograph, cover in linocut)


Matière Grasse 4 (collective book on the topic of the Seven Wonders, 9 artists, 50 pages, inside in risograph, cover in linocut)


Orsay Découpé (by Mathieu Zanellato, all screenprinted, copies of famous painting with the only use of a cutting knife)


Matière Grise 1 (by Mathieu Zanellato, inside in linocut, cover in foilstamp)


Cour/Jardin (by Paul Dorsi, inside in silkscreen, cover in foilstamp)


Friture (collective book, "Where's Waldo ?" like, size30x40cm, silkscreen)

We hope you will like it and help us produce what will probably be one of the most beautiful cardgame EVER !!

Kies je beloning




Geschatte levering: december 2020

As a big THANK YOU for helping us launching our crowdfunding, you will receive 2 Pagan Tarot for a special friendly price !
  • 15 backers
  • 0/15 beschikbaar

Knock on Wood


Geschatte levering: december 2020

You will receive 1 deck of our Pagan Tarot AND a wood-lasercutted matrix that we used for printing the game (one with face cards or trump cards) ! (MDF Wood, size 20x20cm)
  • 10 backers
  • 0/10 beschikbaar