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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, a gallery of artistic presence and visual poetry.

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 →

Éditions Philibert 1954-1960

Éditions Philibert, Paris, 1954-1960

Mitelli Tarocchini

Mitelli's designs are a complete departure from the old tradition, especially the 22 Trump cards.

E.P.C.S. Transformation

The English Playing Card Society's 10th Anniversary Transformation Playing Cards designed and produced by Karl Gerich, 1993


Utamaro Ukiyo-e

Utamaro Ukiyo-e playing cards showing woodblock prints of beautiful women

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Children’s Card Games

The games we play mirror the world we live in. Produced to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers, children's games reflect the fashions, social stereotypes and politics of the time. View More →

J. W. Spear and Sons

Jacob Wolfe Spear founded his company manufacturing fancy goods in 1879 near Nuremberg in Bavaria, Germany

Miniature Football player cards

Children's miniature football player cards, Montevideo, c.1928

Cigarrillos El Figaro Quartet

Animals Quartet playing cards printed for Cigarrillos El Figaro, Peru, early 1900s

Woodland Snap

Woodland Snap card game published by Pepys Games (Castell Brothers Ltd), c.1960

Globalstar Satellite

Globalstar Satellite Communications playing cards, manufactured by Gráfica 2001, Buenos Aires

Casa Escasany, 1930s

Naipes Casa Escasany ~ Novelty playing cards published by Casa Escasany, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1930s

Radisson Hotels, Montevideo

Playing cards for Radisson Hotels - Casinos del Estado - Victoria Plaza, Montevideo, Uruguay, c.2009

Bodegas Trapiche

Large sized promotional playing cards produced for Bodegas Trapiche, Argentina, c.1998.

Maxpedition Hard-Use

Maxpedition all-weather tactical playing cards, 2012

Uusi Blue Blood

Uusi Blue Blood designer playing cards by Peter Dunham and Linnea Gits, 2012

Ireland: Celtic Journey

Celtic Journey playing cards, where art and culture meet - designed by Carmen G. Carballeira.

Inner Realms Tarot

Saleire is an Irish artist and tarot reader who wants to bring the tarot into the future for teenagers and readers to reflect this day and age.

Art & Design

Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first became a part of popular culture. Over the centuries superb artwork, graphic design and self-expression has been hidden within packs of cards. View More →

Granbergs No.101 Standardkort

Granbergs No.101 Standardkort designed by Olle Hjortzberg (1872-1959)

Russian “Slavonic”

Originally published as “Slavonic Cards No.501” by The Colour Printing Plant, St. Petersburg, in the 1920s

Dondorf: Spanische Spielkarten

Dondorf Spanish Pack designed by the catalan artist Apel-les Mestres, Barcelona, 1902.

Modiano Patience

Patience cards published by Modiano, c.1945

Tarocco Bolognese

Tarocco Bolognese

Charles Cheminade Tarot

Marseille Tarot cards by Charles Cheminade of Grenoble, France, early 18th century.

“Corona Ferrea” Tarot

Gumppenberg of Milan produced this magnificent non-standard tarot pack with episodes in the history of the Lombard Iron Crown or “Corona Ferrea” in c.1844.

Tarocchi di Mantegna

The so-called Tarocchi di Mantegna is a set of 50 copper-engraved images (c.1465) which were probably a social pastime or instructional series.

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