The World of Playing Cards Logo

Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. 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. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

La Española Classic

‘La Española Classic’ is a traditional ‘La Española’ Spanish-suited pack and is produced in several sizes (standard, round, small and pocket).

Founded 1945

‘La Española Classic’ by Gráfica 2001

La Española Classic’ is Gráfica 2001's traditional ‘La Española’ Spanish-suited pack based on the designs published by Igor Domicelj and Vigor S.R.L in the 1940s and 50s, which were in turn copied from ‘Naipes El Heraldo’ by Segundo de Olea. It is produced in four sizes (standard, round, pocket and small). The original logo can be seen on the Fours of Cups and Coins and the two Jokers. Several alternative Jokers have been published and in these cases the logos are omitted so packs appear to be completely anonymous. An alternative version named ‘Barcelonesa’ is also produced (see below). This style of pack is found with advertising backs and also as the basis of special editions with customised artwork (see example →)

La Española Classic playing cards, Gráfica 2001's original classic ‘La Española’ Spanish-suited pack

Above: La Española Classic playing cards, Gráfica 2001's traditional Spanish-suited pack. The original logo can be seen on the fours of cups and coins and the two jokers.   See also: Bayer Adalat Oros, 1999Jockey Club CigarettesChevroletVisaInter-Continental Hotel, Buenos Aires

There is also a version with elongated indices. In some instances the ‘La Española’ trademarks are omitted or custom Joker designs are used.

Cádiz pattern for Casinos de Misiones, 2007

Above: advertising pack for Casinos de Misiones, based on "La Española 1946" designs with 2 special jokers and coin symbols substituted with with leopard heads.

Cádiz pattern for 'Lo Jack', 2005

Above: La Española Classic pattern for "Lo Jack lo tuyo es tuyo" with alternative jokers and elongated indices, 2005. 48 cards + 2 jokers in box.   See also: Fernet CapriAventis PasteurPago FácilAmancoPantene Pro-VSika

  San Lorenzo football club distributed by Plastigal Juegos S.R.L. c.2000

Above: Naipes tipo español (Vigor Cádiz pattern) for San Lorenzo football club produced by Plastigal Juegos SRL, 2000. 48 cards + 2 jokers in box. Special jokers and logos on fours of cups and coins.

Distributed by Plastigal Juegos S.R.L. c.2000

Above: budget grade edition produced anonymously for advertising, merchandising or distribution by third parties, such as Plastigal Juegos S.R.L.   See also: ServiClubRexona

The Joker in the above budget grade decks - harlequin jester with a tambourine - is a design formerly used in cards made in Hong Kong.

Spanish Cádiz pattern by Gráfica 2001 for Xanax alprazolam, 2001

Above: Spanish Cádiz pattern by Gráfica 2001 for Xanax alprazolam, 2001.

El Oráculo de la Bruja fortune-telling cards, 2003

Above: El Oráculo de la Bruja fortune-telling cards, c.2003.

 

‘Barcelonesa’ by Gráfica 2001

A similar deck is produced with the brand name ‘Barcelonesa’, the same as the above example except with a different logo on the Fours of Coins and Cups and Jokers, based on a brand originally published during the 1950s.

Barcelonesa playing cards, Gráfica 2001

Above: Barcelonesa playing cards, an alternative brand of Gráfica 2001's traditional Spanish-suited pack. The original logo can be seen on the Fours of Cups and Coins and the two Jokers.

Publicity & Advertising

Naipes ‘Barcelonesa’ by Gráfica 2001 for Carne Argentina, 2006
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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996.

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