Though he might prefer five of a kind at poker, playing card designer Edo Huang is a one of a kind. (JG Photo/Sylviana Hamdani)

One-of-a-Kind Edo Huang Proves Playing Cards is Serious Business


SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

Jakarta. Though he might prefer five of a kind at poker, Edo Huang is a one of a kind designer: the 27-year-old has dedicated his life to designing playing cards, still a rare profession in Indonesia.

"It's my life's passion," Edo said after the launch of Frisian Flag's Purefarm Coconut Delight at The Glass House in South Jakarta on Tuesday (27/09).

Since he was a little boy, Edo has always loved performing magic tricks with playing cards. He has also collected a lot of playing cards with many unique designs from all over the world.

"In total, I have around 2,000 sets of playing cards," he said. "And since I was a child, I've promised myself that one day I would design my own cards."

To pursue his dream, Edo went to study graphic design at the Limkokwing University in Malaysia in 2005.

After finishing his study in 2010, Edo returned to Jakarta and worked for a travel agent and gadget accessories company as a graphic designer.

"I liked my [old] jobs," Edo said. "I learned a lot from them."

But Edo could never forget his childhood dream.

In his spare time, Edo created new playing card designs just for fun. He then sent some of his designs to The Blue Crown, a New York company that produces playing cards.

"They liked my designs and gave me a contract," Edo said.

His first design, called "Nautical," was released by The Blue Crown in Oct. 2012. Over 5,000 boxes of Edo's Nautical cards have now been been sold in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Edo then decided to quit his day job to pursue his dream.

"My parents were not very happy with my decision," the soft-spoken man said. "They thought designing playing cards was childish and a waste of my time. But I wanted to prove to them that I can build a successful career from my passion and inspire other people."

What if he fails?

"For me, it's better to try and fail than never to try and regret it later," he said.

Edo has so far created 12 playing card designs for The Blue Crown. Three of the designs are limited edition.

"One of my limited edition sets, the "Black Friday," was sold out in just 48 hours," the designer said, smiling proudly.

Aside from The Blue Crown, Edo has also designed playing cards for other companies in the US and Singapore. He also has a number of individual clients, mostly magicians in Asia, who hire him to design special cards for their performances.

"This work keeps me enthusiastic," the designer said. "I get up every morning eager to put my ideas to work. For me, that's a clear sign that I've chosen the right path in life."

Edo plans to set up his own playing card company in Jakarta by the middle of next year.

Does he have any advice for young people out there who also want to live their dream?

"Do what feels right for you and then never stop doing it," he said. "Make use of every opportunity and give it your best."