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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.

Minneapolis Bike Tour cards by Ellen Schofield

Ellen Schofield has created some amazing posters for the Minneapolis Bike Tour, each poster has been inspired by playing card designs and imagery.

Ellen Schofield has created some amazing posters for the Minneapolis Bike Tour, each poster has been inspired by playing card designs and imagery.

Background Information & Inspiration from Ellen

The City of Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board hosts a bike tour through the city each year to highlight some of the great trails in Minneapolis, they asked me to work on graphics to promote the event. The only direction was to feature a variety of riders (children/adults, road bikes/casual cruisers, etc) and to try and work in some Minneapolis locations.

I had a bunch of ideas, but kept coming back to the idea of kids sticking playing cards into their spokes. Designing the playing cards worked very well for this project because it allowed me to feature a different type of rider on each card. There was the road bike riding queen, the bicycle commuting king, two children riding in a Burley on the jack, and the unicycle riding joker.

The visual look was really influenced by the classic Bicycle Playing Card. I just tried to get the same level of playful detail into my riders as they have on the back of each of their cards.

You can see more of Ellens work on her portfolio website.

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By Adam Wintle

Member since March 15, 1997

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Adam has been involved in developing the site.

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