Category: Campaign




Shuffled Ink had the pleasure of interviewing John August to help encourage others who are thinking about starting a Kickstarter. There are many aspiring entrepreneurs who are thinking of crowdfunding their projects but may feel they lack certain resources. This blog is the perfect article to help those individuals gain more perspective on how to properly prepare themselves for a very intimidating platform. Keep reading to find out how John August was able to launch his own successful Kickstarter.


1. Tell us about yourself and how you arrived at where you are today.

I’m a screenwriter and novelist. I’m lucky to have had twelve movies produced, from GO to BIG FISH to ALADDIN, along with three novels (the ARLO FINCH trilogy). I also host a popular weekly podcast about film and television called Scriptnotes.

On the side, I run a small company that makes software and other things for writers, including the screenwriting app Highland and Writer Emergency Pack.


2. What inspired you to take action on creating the Writer Emergency Pack XL?



We launched the original Writer Emergency Pack in 2014. It became a phenomenon, one of the bigger Kickstarter projects of its time. In the years since we’ve shipped nearly 100,000 decks around the world. 


As much as we love the original, we felt there were aspects we could improve upon. With a bigger card we could consolidate text that was split among multiple cards. That gave us room to double our illustrations and tips. 


We also took a serious look at our box. The original Writer Emergency Pack comes in a standard tuck box, which can wear out from heavy use. Our new two-part box is made of heavy chipboard, designed to last for years. 


Ryan Nelson designed the original Writer Emergency Pack, drawing inspiration from typography. Dustin Bocks refined the design for Writer Emergency Pack XL, bringing in our space theme.


3. Why did you choose & trust Kickstarter as a good platform? Why did you think it would be the right fit?


We had a great experience with our initial foray in Kickstarter back in 2014, but a lot has changed since then. We did our research and considered alternatives, including just launching XL on our own store. 

What brought us back to Kickstarter was the chance to repeat our “get one, give one” campaign. For every deck we send to backers, we’ll be sending one to classrooms. Launching on Kickstarter allows us to scale up to a place where that’s affordable


4. Did you run into any problems that made you question whether to keep pursuing this card deck? 



We printed early prototypes of Writer Emergency Pack XL back in 2018. We knew we had the right basic idea, but as a company we got busy with other things. 

The pandemic got us thinking more about our supply chain and the environmental costs of worldwide shipping. We were already printing in the US, but we researched better packaging and processes to minimize our carbon footprint. We committed to using certified and recycled paper for everything we can.

We ultimately made the tough decision to launch Writer Emergency Pack XL exclusively for the US and Canada. We’ll be shipping directly from the printing facility in Florida.


5. What are your thoughts on the outcome of not only reaching your goal, but passing it?



We’re really happy how the campaign turned out. We set our goal at $10,000, and achieved that the first day. Our final tally of $121,000 is just about what we expected.

Most importantly, we’re excited that this means we’ll be able to get Writer Emergency Packs into even more classrooms through our “get one, give one” model, and help inspire the next generation of creative writers. We are particularly excited because we think the larger pack will be even more accessible to younger writers. 


6. What are your tips for setting a goal right for you?



Do your research and ask hard questions. We wanted to push ourselves with our goal but also make sure we were staying realistic. Our first campaign exceeded all of our expectations, but we knew we couldn’t expect the same performance. In the years since our initial launch, the landscape of Kickstarter campaigns has changed. We wanted to make sure that we didn’t create a goal modeled off the metrics of our first campaign, but instead we chose a goal that would meet our needs in the current moment in order to make this new pack feasible. We spoke with other creators, got quotes from printing facilities, and mapped out all of our costs before we set a target. 


7. How has being a professional writer benefited your campaign?



I wrote weekly blog posts and updates on Kickstarter to let our backers know how we were doing. I’ve had a blog for decades so it’s normal for me to write to a large group of people on the internet. I think because we were communicating regularly with our supporters we were able to reach our stretch mode, like offering a dark mode version of the pack.   

And in terms of our product, as a writer I can speak directly to the problems we’re solving with our packs. I’ve written a trilogy of novels and countless screenplays, but even I sometimes get stuck. I wish I had something like this growing up, but learning these lessons on my own allowed me to translate my writing experience into the prompts for these cards. The motivating principle behind this deck is to rescue writers from that feeling by giving them tools to approach their story problems.


8.What are some tips to share with aspiring entrepreneurs thinking about using Kickstarter?

One of the biggest draws to working with Kickstarter is the community. I’d recommend folks interested in launching their own Kickstarters, to first research, study, and support other campaigns. I became friends with Elan Lee through Kickstarter and have learned so much through watching his campaigns take off on the platform. We got great practical tips from other creators, like Aaron Reed who launched 50 Years of Text Games. Learning from other entrepreneurs helped us prepare for the launch but also set us up for success when it came time to actually make our product. 

Also, your backers are a huge part of your community and your success depends on their support. My advice is to stay engaged and authentic with them. They’ll appreciate honesty over plans you’re unable to deliver.


9. What is the most effective way to get a Kickstarter out to the public? What networking efforts helped you promote the campaign?

Our company makes a lot of products aimed at helping writers. Luckily we had a loyal base of customers who championed the new XL version of the pack. 

We’re also lucky that the original Writer Emergency Pack was beloved by schools and writing organizations. Through our get one, give one, model we’ve become a fixture in many classrooms and creative writing workshops so word of mouth also helped promote our campaign. 


10. What is the most challenging growth phase for you?

After we came up with the idea for the Writer Emergency Pack XL, our team brainstormed ways to improve the original pack. We wanted to add more cards, tools, illustrations, basically more fun to the original. Once we had mock-ups of our designs it was challenging to figure out (and wait until) the best moment to launch because we were eager to bring our packs to the public ASAP. But I’m glad we waited because we found great partnerships in the US and had more time to create the perfect box for our new deck.


11. How has working with Shuffled Ink helped throughout the Kickstarter campaign process?

Shuffled Ink has produced our standard Writer Emergency Packs for the past few years, so we felt confident they could do this bigger deck. We’ve enjoyed the process of working with Matt and his team to figure out what’s possible, from sizes to finishes to little esoteric details. For example, we want to avoid any plastic while still protecting the decks during shipping. We’ve come up with some good solutions together.


We thank John August for taking the time to share his personal experience with Kickstarter along with his amazing tips on how to properly prepare for a successful launch.  Hopefully this article has helped share some insight and give readers the motivation they need to take action on their next project with Kickstarter!


Important Tips For The Readers To Consider When Launching A Kickstarter:

  1. Are you setting a realistic goal?
  2. When do you feel is the right time to launch your Kickstarter? 
  3. Do you plan on networking with others who use the platform?
  4. Will you promote your campaign? Will you keep your audience updated? Do you know what socials will work best for promoting your product on Kickstarter? 



Sustainable Summer Decks


Join the stride toward eco-friendly solutions with #SISustainableSummer. Starting this month and through the week of Aug. 29, we are recognizing Shuffled Ink clients who choose eco-friendly materials for their card products.

Sustainable Summer Clients

June 2021 Feature

Card Project: Your Girlfriend’s No BS Love Oracle

“We chose the 100% post-consumer box because incorporating sustainable materials in our product packaging was important to us, and especially in what we offer to our customer base. An incredible amount of resources go into packaging daily around the world; we wanted to reduce our impact as much as possible in material choices for our products” — Meo & Shannon

Eco Tuck Box

100% Post-Consumer Recycled Fibers White Tuck Box


Printed on high-quality paper to produce beautifully sound colors, this 65-card deck is compact with pure vibrant energy. Designed as a love oracle deck, each card carries divine and raw insight, getting straight to the point about love and romantic soulmate inquiries. This deck can be used as a stand-alone oracle or paired nicely as a clarifier deck with other tarot or oracle decks.

July 2021 Features

Card Project: Cryptids of North America Playing Cards

“Every choice that we make, big or small, is impactful. Choosing @shuffledink to produce my playing cards was already a more environmentally responsible choice. And taking the next step to implement a 100% post-consumer box to hold my cards together was an even easier decision that resulted in a beautifully finished product.” –Shaun Wegscheid

Eco Tuck Box

100% Post-Consumer Recycled Fibers White Tuck Box


The majority of components for this project utilize greener alternatives. The entire card box and nearly all packaging material are made from recycled material and/or compostable.

This set includes 6 North American cryptids. Deck designer, Shaun W., put forth specific efforts to avoid a majority from any specific region of the continent. The 6 cryptids included in this playing card deck are Batsquatch, Bigfoot, Chupacabra, Flitterbick, Mothman and Fresno Nightcrawler. Each card suit has been shifted to represent a Cryptid. The shape takes notes from both the traditional playing card suit, as well as the cryptid. The red hearts and diamonds use a blue and purple color scheme, and the black clubs and spades use a blue and green color scheme.

Card Project: Deck of Healthy Habits

“Launching a brand includes a multitude of decisions and working with a company that gave an option for more sustainable packaging was important. Choosing the 100% post-consumer box for my deck of cards was an easy decision, and partnering with @shuffledink gave me a beautiful product that I can also feel proud knowing was a more responsible choice for the environment.” –Samantha March

Eco Tuck Box

100% Post-Consumer Recycled Fibers White Tuck Box


Helping you stay inspired, this deck displays a healthy habit on each card. The tuck box is printed on post-consumer recycled materials

August 2021 Features

Card Project: Pop Quip! The Party Game for Everyone

“We were drawn to ‘family owned and operated’ and once we got down to business, @shuffledink exceeded our expectations in quality, professionalism and their ability to be competitive with their prices. While other companies made us feel like our product (@popquip) was a low priority and they weren’t interested in working with our special requests (plastic-free packing) and printing the tuck box on recycled, post-consumer paper, Matt (CEO) and Lisa (VP of Sales) were happy and excited to work with us. They have earned another loyal customer by going above and beyond to make sure we were 100% completely satisfied with their work. We look forward to many more orders with them.” Adam Morley and Megan Robinson

Eco Tuck Box

100% Post-Consumer Recycled Fibers White Tuck Box


Locally produced to reduce the environmental impact associated with transportation, the Pop Quip! Game is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled fibers and packed without cellophane wrapping.

Game creators Adam Morley and Megan Robinson are a couple of pun-loving individuals striving to bring wordplay to life! FullIt’s compact so you can play anywhere. It’s great for road trips, game nights, airports, video chats and more!

Card Project: Crystal Universe Deck

“It is important to use ethical and sustainable practices with harvesting gems and minerals, and The Crystal Universe Deck gives people a chance to connect with the energy of crystals and minerals without having to over-consume.” Deanna Jacome & Grace Harrington Murdoch

Eco Tuck Box

100% Post-Consumer Recycled Fibers White Tuck Box


Creators Deanna Jacome and Grace Harrington Murdoch welcome you seamlessly into the natural world of crystals and stones with their Crystal Universe Deck. Its powerful healing components enhance our connection to nature, from the smallest pebble below to the massive planets above.

They chose the 100% post-consumer box for their cards because caring for the environment is important to them.  While creating the deck, they spent a lot of time connecting with nature.  The 40 fine art paintings were often done outside for each card and the writing for each oracle card was done in a very grounded and mindful way, carrying messages to connect with the natural world as often as possible.

September 2021 Feature

Card Project: True You Cards

“I’ve always been drawn to the kraft style material on printed pieces because it comes across as more handcrafted and personal than most printed packaging. Especially since printing can be such a technical process, I wanted something that felt more human. When I was writing and designing my card deck, the words and visuals kept pointing towards our connection to nature and reconnecting with our innate, natural wellbeing as a result of this connection. The sustainable packaging option felt like the obvious choice.” Gabriel Gandzjuk

Eco Tuck Box

30% Post-Consumer Recycled Fibers Brown Eco Kraft Tuck Box


In October 2020, Shuffled Ink partnered with True Life Habitat creator Gabriel Gandzjuk to manufacture his eco-friendly True You Cards. We were extremely excited to dip our toe into sustainable packaging, as this was one of the first Eco Kraft projects that we produced for a client.

Along with the eco box, Gabriel also sent us complimentary sustainable packaging, including comPost packs & comPostable labels; both are available for purchase here.

Quiet your cluttered mind with a daily moment of pause and insight in this beautifully designed card deck. True You Cards were designed to see that mental wellness is closer within our reach than we think. Disconnect from your device and reconnect with the True You.

Shuffled Ink’s Sustainable Summer Decks

We are also thrilled to launch the Sustainable Summer Deck collection, inspired by our beautiful planet and made with components of post-consumer recycled fibers.

Earth Day, Every Day Playing Cards (Eco Kraft Tuck Box)

Earth Day, Every Day Playing Cards (Post-Consumer White Tuck Box)

Eco Oracle Deck (Eco Kraft Tuck Box & Paper)

Eco Oracle Deck (Post-Consumer White Tuck Box)

Make Your Next Project Eco-Friendly

Request complimentary samples of our eco-friendly products to touch and feel the quality for yourself.

Here are a couple of eco options that we offer:

  • 30% Post-Consumer Recycled Fibers Eco Kraft Tuck Box
  • 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Fibers White Tuck Box


Shuffled Ink partners with garden creator

Shuffled Ink to donate all Winter Garden Deck proceeds to its local theatre

Shuffled Ink and Garden Theatre are delighted to announce an official partnership to celebrate and support the arts in Winter Garden, where Shuffled Ink’s new facility is being built. Winter Garden is home to a host of cultural organizations including theatre, art galleries and educational museums. The idea for this partnership was to design a product that emulated the town’s scenic biking trails, weekly Farmers Market and golf cart-friendly streets. The Winter Garden Playing Card Deck, hand-illustrated by Shuffled Ink’s Creative Art Director, Daniel Longman, is now available in Shuffled Ink’s online shop as well as at Garden Theatre’s box office. All proceeds are being donated to the theatre. The Shuffled Ink team is excited to support artists beyond just playing card and game designers. “We wanted to contribute all of the product’s earnings to a local nonprofit; one that aligned well with our adoration for and experience assisting artists,” said Matthew Levin, CEO at Shuffled Ink. “As we approach our highly awaited move to Winter Garden in the Fall, we look forward to building a strong relationship with such an inspiring Creative Arts organization like the Garden.” Garden Theatre’s Managing Director, Elisa Spencer-Kaplan, is equally thrilled with this new collaboration. “As a community-based arts organization creating professional theatre that is of and for Winter Garden, partnerships like this with our local friends and neighbors are essential to who we are,” Spencer-Kaplan said. “Shuffled Ink’s new card deck is a beautiful celebration of Winter Garden, and we’re so honored that they have chosen the Garden for this opportunity.”

Get to Know Us

Family owned and operated since 1999, Shuffled Ink specializes in everything custom and specialty print. From customized playing cards, games, tarot & flash cards, to packaging, marketing and event materials, we are honored to work with individuals and companies around the world. The move into our new Winter Garden headquarters and manufacturing facility will allow us to further grow and diversify our product lines and expand our fulfillment services. Garden Theatre is at the heart of Winter Garden’s artistic scene and celebrates its 13th anniversary during the 2020 – 2021 performance season. Originally built in 1935 as a single-screen cinema, the theatre was the first in Central Florida built for “talkies” and was a gathering place for locals to watch the latest newsreels and films of the day. The building was restored to its former glory in 2008 and equipped for modern performance. The 295-seat Garden Theatre has grown to a thriving performing arts center serving regional audiences and artists with a year-round season of world-class live theatre, as well as movies, concerts, dance, special events and an extensive arts education program. Shuffled Ink is a multigenerational family business that specializes in printing custom playing cards, tarot & flash cards, packaging and more for businesses and individuals worldwide. ● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk



We are proud to announce our official partnership with EcoEnclose exclusively for our fulfillment-related shipping materials. All bubble and corrugated mailers as well as cartons are recyclable, biodegradable, and made from 100 percent recycled materials!

We are optimistic about our future in eco-friendly shipping and are excited to apply these sustainable developments to all orders in the future!

Wondering how you can incorporate environmental initiatives into your custom project? Contact our team here.



“We see playing cards as an art and look to share our art with others.” – Portfolio 52

We are extremely excited to announce that Shuffled Ink is a 2020 Deck of the Year Awards sponsor! Hosted by Portfolio 52, this project celebrates all of the amazing decks released throughout the year. Our sponsorship will provide each category winner with complimentary production prizes. Shuffled Ink is producing 100 FREE playing card decks for the “Best Overall Deck” 1st-place winner and 5 FREE playing card decks for the 13 other 1st-place category winners!

DOTY Categories:

Every day we work alongside creative and talented designers whose playing card art finds its way on collectors’ shelves. Our purpose aligns perfectly with Portfolio 52’s: fostering the art of playing card collecting. We look forward to helping P52 build, support and guide those who share our passion for card innovation. Learn more about the DOTY Awards and our sponsorship here. Shuffled Ink is a multigenerational family business that specializes in printing custom playing cards, tarot & flash cards, packaging and more for businesses and individuals worldwide. ● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk



Shuffled Ink is honored and proud to support the Joe Namath Foundation, which benefits numerous children’s charities and neurological research. 

Joe Namath Foundation Customized Playing Cards
In 1969, Joe Namath, the quarterback for the New York Jets, personally guaranteed that the Jets would defeat the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.  Not only did the Jets win, but the game was regarded as the greatest upset in American football history. Shuffled Ink owner, Charles Levin, attended Super Bowl III with his dad on January 12, 1969.  Since the age of 6, he has been an avid and rather fanatical Jet’s fan.  In fact, Charles attended Super Bowl 3 and witnessed Namath’s greatest NFL moment. And, ever since he was a young boy, and even now in adulthood, he has idolized and always dreamed of meeting the MVP football star, Joe Namath. Naturally, as the 50th anniversary of the epic Super Bowl game approached, Levin couldn’t help but find himself reminiscing about Namath and the Jets. The stars seemed to have aligned on January 24, 2019, when Charles, working late at the office, received a phone call from Joe Namath’s manager who was seeking to create printed custom playing cards for the upcoming Joe Namath Foundation charity golf tournaments.   They wanted to use the personalized cards as party favors to place into attendee’s goodie bags.  Needless to say, Charles assured him that he had come to the right place! As the nearly two-hour phone call concluded, the Foundation’s order was underway free of charge BUT with one contingency — Charles would be able to attend the VIP cocktail party the night before the tournament, as well as meet his idol, Broadway Joe.  It was truly an incredible dream coming full circle!
Shuffled Ink owner, Charles Levin, with Joe Namath at the Joe Namath Foundation charity golf tournament in Jupiter, FL
The Joe Namath Foundation playing card decks, designed by Charles and Shuffled Ink’s graphics staff, are completely customized back and faces.  The cards capture a series of iconic moments in both Namath’s life and football career.  But most importantly, the personalized card decks illustrate the purpose and beauty of the Joe Namath Foundation.
Joe Namath Foundation Customized Playing Cards
On March 31, 2019, Charles had the opportunity to meet and spend time with Joe Namath and so many other incredible athletes and supporters of the Foundation: John Schmitt, Namath’s center for Super Bowl III; Kevin O’Leary Mr. Wonderful from Shark Tank; Hall of Famer Johnny Bench; Pittsburgh Steeler Franco Harris; Super Bowl XXII MVP Doug Williams; Vinny Testaverde; and Ed Too Tall Jones just to name a few. Shuffled Ink is honored and proud to support the Joe Namath Foundation, which benefits numerous children’s charities and neurological research.  At your pleasure, feel free to visit the website link provided to learn more about the Foundation. ● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Card Games at: ShuffledInk