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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.

1960s Retro Styled Playing Cards by Joe Snow

Joe Snow was commissioned to create a pack of cards for Ridley's House of Novelties brand. The pack has been illustrated in a 1960s colourful style.

Joe Snow, a freelance illustrator and graphic designer based in West Yorkshire, England, was commissioned to create a pack for the Kaleidoscope range within the larger Ridley's House of Novelties brand for a UK based gift company Wild & Wolf. The pack is a 1960's inspired colourful and vintage style. Joe explains:

The card deck was great fun to work on. I wanted to keep the classic layout but make the characters feel more fun and down to earth. I gave them paper party hats instead of crowns to make them look a little less royal. For the hearts suit I added my signature ice cream cone. A recurring theme the joker is my favourite. He's either looking a bit scared at his angry marotte or making an angry face to scare his anxious marotte depending on which way up it is.

Check Joe's website for more of his impressive illustrations.


By Adam Wintle

Member since March 15, 1997

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Adam has been involved in developing the site.