Step By Step: How To Design Your Own Tarot Deck?

Tarot is a popular tool used for divination. Traditionally, a tarot deck consists of 78 cards divided into two sections, the major arcana, and the minor arcana. Sometimes, a tarot deck will only contain the major arcana because these cards hold the more powerful meanings/lessons within a deck.

Tarot has been in practice for centuries, and today its popularity is more prevalent than ever. There are thousands of decks on the market, which makes it easy to find one that resonates with you. However, if you want to design your own tarot deck?

The Rider-Waite-Smith deck has been a staple in the community, and many teachings and books are based on this particular deck. This deck has been celebrated for its beautiful and intricate imagery and even more meaningful card descriptions. While the Rider-Waite-Smith deck is a great deck to start with, eventually, it will be time to venture out to find a deck that inspires you.

Gold Rider-Waite-Smith deck
Golden Waite Tarot

One of the best ways to find a deck that is in harmony with you is to create your own tarot deck. At first, the thought of creating your own tarot deck may seem overwhelming. Where do you start? What should it look like? How do I get it printed? These are all questions that will be answered for you here today.

Your Message To Design Your Own Tarot Deck

Each tarot deck holds a specific message that’s carried as a theme throughout the entire deck. Some decks contain an abundance of alchemical imagery that tells the story of the alchemist’s journey. Other decks contain Dark, deep imagery that may best be used for shadow work. It’s important to decide on your vision and the overall message you want your deck to speak to its users.

When you think of tarot, what comes to mind? What is the reason you love the cards, and how do they help you? The answers to these questions can help you understand the function and use it for your future deck.

Take time to shuffle through your favorite decks and make a list of the elements within them that inspire you the most. Tarot decks all have similarities, such as the suits and the major arcana. Along with your list, add to it items that you want to include in your own deck. If this deck is also for other people, try to see your deck through the eyes of a general tarot reader. Keeping certain elements familiar and easy to identify will help any practitioner use your deck.

Your Message To Design Your Own Tarot Deck
Pregnancy Affirmation Cards

The Card Meanings

Choosing the card names and meanings should be done towards the beginning of designing your deck. This is because you want your card’s imagery to correlate with the deeper meaning of the card. Card meanings can hold much more information than a picture, and creating a picture from an established meaning will be easier than vice versa.

Decide if you want to stay more traditional with your card names, or choose ones that fit your deck’s intentions. Create a list of your card names and start creating their meanings. You can be creative with this, and using your own individual interpretations will set your deck apart from the others. Everyone’s tarot experience is unique, and everyone has different interpretations of the cards.

The Card Meanings
Alphabet Learning Tarot cards

The Imagery

Once you have your card meanings, you can begin creating images from them. This may take some thought on your part. Be creative! For example, if a card has very emotional meaning, you may wish to correlate the imagery with elements that you find emotional. You’ll want to decide on an aesthetic for your cards in order to keep them consistent. You can reference the purpose of your deck and try to visualize if a more complex and busy deck may be more suitable than a minimal or simple deck.

The use of color is also important. If your deck is more geared towards love readings, you may wish to use colors, especially reds and pinks. If your deck is more geared towards shadow work, you may want to use black, white, and grays. Decide what colors suit your deck and begin drawing. Use the card meanings to create different symbols and characters throughout your deck. Make each card unique, but try to keep some consistency, especially throughout the suit cards.

In traditional tarot, there are four suits, wands, cups, pentacles, and wands. If your deck includes suit cards, try to design each card within a single suit to correspond with each other. Tarot is a story, and the card imagery should help tell the story of the practitioner. There are a few ways you can design the cards, digitally, drawing, painting, collage, or a combination of everything. If you are unable to create your own designs, you can work with a professional design team.

Take time to run through each of your designs as well as their corresponding meanings. Walkthrough, the entire deck, viewing it through the eyes of someone who isn’t aware of the inner workings of it yet. If you’re happy with the energy of the designs and meanings, it’s time to have it sent to a printer!

The Imagery
The Virgin Tarot


WJPC is a custom tarot card manufacturer and an excellent choice for your tarot needs. We offer various options for card stock using high-quality paper. Once you provide them with your images, you will then choose the card stock, packaging, colors, and typesetting design for your deck. As mentioned previously, we will also help design your deck if you need our assistance.

Reference your favorite decks and recognize all of the characteristics that you enjoy about them. Do you like a matte finish or a glossy deck? Do you want your deck to have borders? What size do you want your deck? There are also options to add gold or silver to the edges. Finally, the packaging of your deck is also very important. Whether you want a box, a velvet bag, or shrink-wrapped, you’ll want to choose packaging that corresponds with the energy of your deck.

Custom Cards Finish
Types of cards

At WJPC, your deck will come with your desired card stock, finish, and packaging and can include a matching booklet that contains your card meanings. Working with a reputable tarot card printer is important to receive the best quality deck. We offer customizable options allowing you to curate your deck to perfectly meet your needs.

Once your deck is printed, it’s time to test it out! Whether this deck is for personal use or you’re printing for the market, your custom tarot deck will be personal, unique, and thoughtful. Every deck has its own special story; your deck is no different. Get started today!