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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first became a part of popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards have been used for games, gambling, advertising, fortune telling and even to spread political messages. The most interesting aspect is the artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked. Here we have been sharing it with the world since 1996.

Editor's Picks

Playing cards have enormous educational value, with a long history and many diverse types and graphical styles from around the world... View More →

El Cid 9th centenary

Playing cards commemorating the IX centenary of the death of ‘El Cid’ designed by Vicente S. Algora.

Tarocco Neoclassico

'Tarocco Neoclassico Italiano', based on an original from c.1810, published in 1980 by Edizioni del Solleone.

Circus No.47, 1896

The recently incorporated U.S.P.C.C. began creating exciting new brands to celebrate their new beginning.


Quantum

Quantum playing cards designed by Catherine Geaney.

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Fortune-Telling Cards, c.1714

Fortune-Telling Cards, c.1690-1715, made specifically for the purpose of fortune-telling.

The 72 Names Cards

The 72 Names Cards

Etruria Minchiate, 1725

Florentine Minchiate by Pietro Alligo and originally published in Florence in 1725

La Primitiva, c.1890

Tarocco Piedmontese by Fabrica de Naipes La Primitiva, Defensa 125, Buenos Aires c.1890

Souvenir

A treasury of miniature art, graphic design and self-expression from different periods and locations around the world. View More →

Dondorf: Hauptstadte Spiel

The outlines of the figures and city views are clearly delineated with attractive ornamental details.

Irish Souvenir

Irish souvenir playing cards.

Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands Souvenir Playing Cards

S.S. France Playing Cards

A special non-standard pack of playing cards was designed by M. Marie for the maiden voyage of the transatlantic liner S.S. France in 1962.

Cigarrillos Roldan, Peru, 1890

Cards from a fantasy publicity pack for the Peruvian tobacco company Roldan y Cia, San José 66, Lima. c.1890

Cerveza El Gallo c.1880

Cerveza El Gallo advertising

Prosdócimo Refrigerators

Cartográfica Industrial, Curitiba, Brazil

Fastener S.R.L.

Fastener S.R.L. (founded in 1990) are manufacturers of nuts and bolts and other industrial fasteners in South America

Manufacturing Processes

Innovations in printing technologies have impacted the appearance of playing cards. View More →

Making Cardboard

The manufacture of the cardboard used for playing cards contains a number of interesting processes

Home-made Playing cards

Production Methods for Small Scale Editions of Playing Cards: some alternative approaches to producing small editions of playing cards

Rotxotxo Workshop Inventory

Rotxotxo Workshop Inventories, Barcelona, 1660-1797

Manufacture of Cards

Article about Manufacture of Playing Cards, 1825: pasting, stencilling, polishing, cutting, etc.

Waddy Productions Ltd

Waddy Productions Ltd was a member of the Amalgamated Press group and published card games during the 1930s.

Berkshire Printing Co.

Berkshire Printing Company Limited, c.1930

C.L.Keiblinger, Copenhagen 1852-85

C.L.Keiblinger, Copenhagen 1852-85

American Bank Note Co.

The American Bank Note Company entered the playing card market for a short time, c.1908-1914.

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