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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 model of the universe. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. Their popularity is undoubtedy due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

Latest Articles

Roche Playing Cards

Posted by Simon Wintle •  January 28, 2017 at 08:32pm

Roche Pharmaceutical playing cards, 1980s Read more →

Cartas Precolombinas

Posted by Simon Wintle •  January 27, 2017 at 02:32pm

Spanish playing cards with Pre-Columbian designs from Argentina, 2001 Read more →


Posted by Simon Wintle •  January 25, 2017 at 06:07pm

“Double Happiness” brand Hakka [客家] playing cards used by Hakka ethnic communities who have a separate identity from Cantonese, Read more →

Miner’s Cards for Rutek Alliance

Posted by Simon Wintle •  January 22, 2017 at 01:38pm

Miner’s Cards for the Czech company Rutek Alliance, 2012. Read more →

Jacob’s Bible Cards

Posted by Simon Wintle •  January 20, 2017 at 07:26pm

Jacob’s Bible Cards published by Lion Playing Card Factory Ltd, Tel Aviv, 1980s Read more →


Posted by Simon Wintle •  January 18, 2017 at 01:15pm

“Eastern” playing cards dedicated to ethnic Buryat culture, 2015 Read more →

Anti-Fascist Propaganda Pack for the Siege of Leningrad, 1943

Posted by Adam Wintle •  January 17, 2017 at 11:53am

In 1943 a pack of ‘anti-fascist’ playing cards was designed by Vasiliy Andrianovich Vlasov mocking the rulers of Germany and the Axis powers. Read more →

Tam Cúc 三菊

Posted by Simon Wintle •  January 12, 2017 at 05:12pm

Tam Cúc playing cards from Vietnam, based on Chinese chess, 2016 Read more →


Posted by Simon Wintle •  January 08, 2017 at 03:53pm

“Comtesse” by Bielefelder Spielkarten Fabrik GmbH, 1960s Read more →

World Cup ’98

Posted by Simon Wintle •  January 05, 2017 at 02:15pm

World Cup ’98 football team pack for Paradigma Consulting Group, 2000 Read more →

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