Card Face Redesign FAQ

Posted in Feature on January 20, 2003

By magicthegathering.com Staff


The new card face design was unveiled at Pro Tour - Chicago this weekend.

Why is Wizards changing the design of the Magic cards?
With Magic’s 10th anniversary, we felt there was an opportunity to refresh the look of Magic cards and enhance, if we could, the design from the standpoint of both aesthetics and the functionality of the cards.

What is the extent of the changes?
We’re giving Magic cards a fresh look and feel. The art and frame will look better. The art and text boxes are being enlarged a little, making it easier to read the power and toughness and card names from across the table. We’ve also enhanced and expanded the color palette. For example, we’ve given the artifact cards a color of their own – a metallic silver. And foil cards have a much richer texture. We’ve paid extreme attention to detail in developing the new card face design.

When will the change be implemented?
Beginning with Eighth Edition – which will be released on the heels of GenCon, coinciding with the official Magic 10th anniversary celebration – and with all sets thereafter.

Are there no more borders on the cards?
The card borders – that is, the black or white strip around the outside of Magic cards – will be the same size and shape as they have always been. We are working on the ability to depict the new frames complete with borders on our website and we should have that up and running soon.


Old Worship and new: Black text makes the white cards more readable.

Will the Eighth Edition cards be white-bordered or black-bordered?
It will be just like Seventh Edition – white-bordered with the exception of the foils, which are black-bordered.

What about future Magic card sets?
Our expert-level sets will all be black-bordered, just as they have always been. All sets released after Eighth Edition will use the new card frames.

Will multicolored cards still be gold?
Yes. We updated the color and texture just like we did with the single colored cards and it is still gold.

Why “Basic Land – Forest?”
We added “Basic” in order to help new players understand the difference between basic and nonbasic lands. By explaining this distinction on the type line, we did not feel the need to add reminder text to cards like Blood Moon that reference “nonbasic lands.”

We added “Forest” to the forests for two reasons. It allows us to make cards like the Dromar's Cavern from Planeshift be “Land – Lair,” and then they need one fewer sentence in their text boxes. This also opens up design space for future cards. In addition, this change allows us to clean up an obscure rule that most of you won’t care about. (For the technically minded: the current rules say that every land has a subtype equal to its name. We needed that rule so that cards like Wood Elves don’t have to say “card named Forest,” but that rule has prevented us from making some cards we wanted to make, plus it’s kind of a silly rule to have anyway – if the cards have subtypes, we should just print them on the cards instead of having them be invisible subtypes. Then we can get rid of that rule because all lands will just have whatever subtypes are printed on them.)


Lands receive subtypes as part of the new design.

Will nonbasic lands have “Nonbasic Land” on their type lines?
No. Most nonbasic lands, like City of Brass, will have just the single word “Land” on their type line. The ones with subtypes will say, for example, “Land – Lair.”

Will the Magic Player Rewards program token frames also be updated for the 10th anniversary?
Yes, we’re giving the token frames an updated look, but we’re not ready to release them yet.

Was Richard Garfield consulted?
Absolutely. We shared the new designs with him throughout the process and he is very supportive of the changes. For example, Richard has long been an advocate for enlarging the power and toughness on creature cards.

Who else was involved in developing the new design?
The new design was a collaborative effort of the Magic Creative team, led by Jeremy Cranford, R&D, led by Randy Buehler, and the Brand team, led by Joe Hauck and Wendy Wallace, and we’re all very enthusiastic about the result.

Will the new card design be implemented in Magic Online as well as with the physical cards?
Existing cards will continue to use the frames that correspond to their physical counterparts, but future online releases, starting with Eighth Edition, will use the new frames.

What else can you tell us about the 10th anniversary celebration?
We’re planning to mark the 10th anniversary officially with a celebration at GenCon, which coincides nicely with Eighth Edition’s anticipated scheduled release date of July 28. For the weekend after GenCon, we’re planning a special worldwide 10th anniversary tournament using Eighth Edition. More information on those tournaments should be out soon. In addition, Eighth Edition will have a special exception to Magic’s normal format rotation policy and it will be used in the Standard portion of the World Championship in August.

What else can you tell us about Eighth Edition at this time?
Right now, you can check out MagicTheGathering.com to see the 41 cards that will be in the set as a result of fans’ votes. And, as part of the 10th anniversary celebration we’ll be revealing more Eighth Edition cards leading up to the set’s release, so stay tuned to MagicTheGathering.com!

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