On Printing, Shipping. . . and Corona-19

This post calls to mind (well, to my mind, which is lost in the past most of the time) the old Doublemint chewing gum commercials: because it’s “two — two — two posts in one!”

I’ve been wanting for a while now to discuss the different printing methods that are used to produce my decks. At the same time, there’s the whole Covid-19 “pandemic” scare that’s going on, and this directly relates to the the decks’ production and shipping.

Let’s get the Coronaviris thing out of the way first. Some of my decks do ship from Hong Kong. At the very start of the coronavirus scare, this caused some delays of up to two weeks in the shipment of those decks ordered. That seems to have all evened out now, and decks are again shipping in a timely manner.

Hong Kong was a part of China that was never severely impacted by the coronavirus, but even so, the printing companies I work with took the appropriate steps and shut down production when the number of reported cases was at its worst.

No less a source that Harvard.edu reports that receiving packages from China is safe. Here is the direct quote from their website:

There is no reason to suspect that packages from China harbor coronavirus. Remember, this is a respiratory virus similar to the flu. We don't stop receiving packages from China during their flu season. We should follow that same logic for the virus that causes COVID-19.”

Which ought to be a clear enough statement for anyone.

My decks are produced by two different printing techniques: OFFSET (mechanical) and PRINT-ON-DEMAND (Digital).

I work mainly with two different print-on-demand companies: one in Hong Kong, and one in Wisconsin, USA. My Marvelous Oracle of Oz and Brownies Oracle decks are two that are produced in Wisconsin; most of the rest come out of Hong Kong.

Print-on-demand is a terrific process that results in a good product, but by its very nature it is expensive. That’s why most of my POD decks are pricier than the offset ones. But — also by its very nature — that price is balanced by the scarcity of the product. Only as many decks are produced as have actually been ordered, which makes for very limited editions. In fact, most of my print-on-demand decks currently have print runs of 100 copies or significantly less.

By contrast, offset printin offers the best quality at prices that reflect the larger print runs. Most of my offset decks (including both versions of TRICK OR TAROT and the second edition Arthur Rackham Oracle and Tinker’s Damn decks) were funded through Kickstarter and produced in editions of 1,000 or more. Still quite a limited print run, but the process allows me to deliver the highest quality decks at a significantly lower retail price than I could if they were produced on-demand.

All of these offset decks were printed in Hong Kong; but even the most recently-produced ones were printed almost a year ago as I type this. They were delivered to my house in Maine, from where I personally ship them when you place your order. As I type this, Maine is one of just four states in the USA that has not reported a single coronavirus case. And because I live a basically self-quarantined lifestyle, staying home most days to produce the art for these decks and emerging from my lair just twice a week to run errands and ship orders, the likelihood of any exposure to the virus is slim to none.

So it’s not only SAFE to order my decks — it’s actually beneficial. We live in confusing and sometimes frightening times, times when answers to our deepest questions are getting harder and harder to find. By its very nature, using Tarot opens up your best intuitive self, clears the connections between psyche and spirit, and helps pave the way to allow you to become your best self. My decks are uniquely designed to be intuitive, thought-provoking, challenging and accessible. We do not advocate fortune-telling in its crassest forms, but in dark times like these, there is no better way to clear the mind and spirit than to consult the spiritually invigorating art of the Tarot.

Best wishes to you all, and thank you for your continued support.

— Thorn,



1 comment

  • Iwona

    Dear Thorn, someone in The Hermit’s Cave Group on Facebook mention the Rackham Tarot to me. As usual the little search brought me to Rackham Oracle and I am in love 🙃 I am originally from Poland and living in the States for close to 30 years I forgot how much I loved fairy tales growing up … Reminds me of my Grandmother telling me stories and all the books I’ve read. Reminds me of peace and safety. It is a world I almost forgot exits. The Oracle cards are gorgeous. Absolutely stunning and I wish it would be only one editions – so choosing would be very simple. But it’s not lol Can you please be so kind and explains to me the difference between the first and second edition…? I would truly appreciate it. My heart always goes to the First edition of everything but maybe the Second is the one to go this time…? Thank you in advance. Iwona K.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published