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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first became a part of popular culture, perhaps seen as a miniature representation of the cosmos. Over the centuries packs of cards have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages, transformation or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. One aspect is the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed. They also open perspectives of different cultures, eras, religions, races, classes, genders, sexual orientations, age groups, even different species and forms of life which coexist in the world today.

From the Blog

Our blog on playing cards, current Kickstarter campaigns and projects from around the web View More →


When movies, radio and television first appeared playing card manufacturers were worried. But people still had plenty of leisure time and card playing continued to increase. Today’s electronic devices, computers, the Internet and online gaming have changed everything and many former playing card manufacturers have closed down or been taken over by larger corporations. The older manufacturers are now a reminder of bygone days. View More →


The portrayal of national or ethnic identity on playing cards reflects the different cultural backgrounds, native communities and language groups which co-exist in the world today, celebrating their accomplishments, art and histories. The indigenous capacity to assert itself with dignity in the face of modernity shines through these cards. Sometimes their costumes are better than the fashion industry. View More →

Pop Culture

Popular culture, cinema, tv and global brands today are a product of the economically more developed countries and arise from a combination of advances in industrial technology and increased leisure time. It aims to be sold to large numbers of people as a commodity. Certain currents of pop culture may originate from or diverge into a subculture. View More →

Oracle & Divination

Cartomancy and modern esoteric tarot packs have been conjured in a wide variety of conceptions. They involve use of imagination and intuition to assess one’s own thoughts and feelings from the view point of the symbolic images. This is finding meaning and answers for oneself, rather than having blind faith in authority such as in religion. View More →

Patience & Miniature

Patience and miniature playing cards - sometimes these are just a small version of a normal deck, or else special ‘pocket-sized’ or ‘patience-sized’ packs; sometimes they are made as children’s toys or given away as free gifts with products. View More →

Art & Design

The playing card calls for artistic treatment and although the constrained size imposes some limitations there is an almost bewildering wealth and variety of designs in playing cards and their tuck boxes. The serious player requires design to be unobtrusive so that aesthetic considerations remain in the background. However, with modern manufacturing technology more eye-catching designs are becoming popular as gifts, collectibles and for their attractive appearance. View More →

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