Creative Genius Deck 2.0

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CGP Deck 2.0, taking it to a whole other level

When I created the original CGP classic deck, the methodology was in its infancy, and a lot of the central ideas were not fully formed. The original deck is a classic design and the thoughts on it are provokative and still very useful thoughts, I thought there was a need for a modern deck which better represented the state of CGP today, and this is the result.

I opted for a different design to make it easy to see which deck I'm holding, and this time around I opted for a retro 70s design. I do a lot of retro design, it's one of my own inspirational reference points, so it seemed like an authentic good fit.

So I started distilling down all the central tenets of the now finished CGP into 52 thoughts which would fit on the front of a playing card. No easy task. But it was done and I'm thrilled with the results.

You can use it as a normal deck of cards, but also as a set of flash cards for CGP, The Creative Genius Programme. Although primarily designed for writers, the thoughts work for all creative work, visual arts and music too. You may play regular card games, but to add a bit of brain programming you can read the words on the front of each card as you play them, thus programming your mind when you are in a relaxed and playful mind state. It's supposed to be fun, people.

Enjoy these cards and let me know how you get on with them. Should you be interested at some point later on there will be a limited editions and future revisions, and you can get details of this and all other products related to my work at

Phil South, Somerset 2012


What are the Creative Genius Decks?

The Creative Genius deck is a pack of 52 cards for use during creative writing (or visual art). Either flip through the cards one by one or choose a card at random. The original card deck was conceived and designed by me as an iPhone and iPad app (still coming soon to the iTunes store) to be built by the amazing Damon Jones and John Molloy of inSignificant Productions. But I decided to also produce them as a physical deck.

My inspirations were many. I've had a lifelong love affair with playing cards of all sorts, tarot cards, poker cards, Happy Families, and other card games. I was not part of the Top Trumps generation, that passed me by, but everything to do with cards has always fascinated me. My primary inspiration for the deck came from three main sources which I freely acknowledge here. I conceived these cards initially from my work with creative writers on my blog but I realised afterwards that the inspiration came from these and other sources.

The first and most obvious debt of thanks is of course to Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt's wonderful Oblique Strategies, deck, a deck of "Over one hundred worthwhile dilemmas" made originally in 1975 and republished I think another four times since then. A less obvious influence was the Zebu deck by Robert Anue, a set of language pattern cards based on the hypnosis techniques of Milton H Erickson, and published in 1992. This is long out of print, but something similar has recently been published by Ericksonian hypnotist Igor Ledochowski in his Conversational Hypnosis Card Deck. (A similar deck was recently devised and produced by Jamie Smart of Salad Consulting)

Obviously I'm also influenced by the robotic fortune telling machines at old time circuses and fairgrounds, boxes containing the top half of a mysterious swami who for a coin will dispense your future on a card from a conveniently located slot at the front of the case... Scary circus moods are a running theme in my work, both musically and artistically.

Also available:
The Creative Genius Deck Classic
"cross my palm with silver"
Read more

* please allow up to 20 business days for printing and delivery, depending on location