AIGA Wichita brings local creatives together with The Deck


Courtesy of AIGA Wichita

Diversity and inclusion chair for AIGA Wichita, Gabby Garlow, designed the two of diamonds and WSU senior Sofia Burnett designed the 10 of spades.

Fifty-five local designers and creatives collaborated to create AIGA Wichita’s The Deck — a uniquely designed deck of cards that celebrates Wichita’s design community. Fifty-four artists designed one card each and one designed the box.

The opportunity was open to any and all local designers and was advertised on AIGA Wichita’s social media pages.

Gabby Garlow, who designed the two of diamonds, is also AIGA Wichita’s diversity and inclusion chair for AIGA Wichita.

“AIGA is a national organization, and one of our chapters in Dallas has done this [project] for three years, so we thought, ‘Why not do it too?’” Garlow said. “We just did it our own way and changed the rules a little bit. In Dallas, they are more strict, they don’t let students participate, and they have a strict selection process.”

Nine Wichita State students and four staff members contributed to The Deck.

Sofia Burnett, a WSU senior graphic design major, designed the 10 of spades. 

“I did some research and the spade actually originally represented weeds from the Tree of Life, so I drew inspiration from that,” Burnett said. “My design was fruits and vegetables and it also relates to me because one of my passions is natural living and healthy eating, so since that’s something I really care about, I wanted to show a piece of myself, too.”

After learning about the project via email and Facebook, Burnett decided to join in on the collaboration. She, along with the other designers, attended an AIGA event where they got to choose the card they would design.

“We were given a number and we basically waited for our number to be called. Then, we rolled dice and the number we rolled is the number of cards we got to draw from the deck,” Burnett said. “We drew those cards and then we chose which of those cards we wanted to design. Even the process of choosing our cards was kind of a game. That was a really fun and unique experience.” 

Garlow said she didn’t expect the project to gain as much attention as it has.

“When we had our launch event, we were expecting to have about 20 people show up and then struggle to find people to fill up the rest of the cards,” Garlow said. 

But by the end of the launch event, 54 spots out of the 55 were filled, leaving only one card left by the end of the night.

“We’ve had a lot of people message us on Facebook asking how they can participate and having to tell them that there’s no more spots left,” Garlow said.

AIGA’s mission is to advance design as a professional craft, strategic advantage, and vital cultural force, and to serve as a resource for designers at any and all stages of their careers. 

“I think it’s good to not only enhance or continue learning when you’re a designer, but also to have that community of other designers to learn from,” Garlow said.

Although Burnett said that although Wichita is making progress in terms of supporting local designers and creatives, she think there’s still more work to be done.

“I would love for there to be more career opportunities for creatives in Wichita, but I think that the field of graphic design and arts in general are already growing in Wichita right now,” Burnett said. “Obviously, with COVID-19 and everything going on right now, that might be changing, but in the past couple years, I’ve definitely seen an art movement in Wichita. We are getting more resources.”

AIGA Wichita plans to continue this project in the coming years.

“I loved the idea of local artists coming together and doing this project that was a collaboration of a bunch of different designers,” Burnett said. “It was a really unique and fun opportunity.”

The Deck can be pre-ordered at for $15.