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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.

Dogs

‘Dogs’ playing cards showcases 52 canine portraits in four suits as authors, artists, musicians and film stars, illustrated by Chet Phillips, 2016

‘Dogs’ is an original deck of playing cards showcasing 52 canine portraits in four suits caricatured as authors, artists, musicians and film stars, illustrated by freelance illustrator Chet Phillips. Not only are the portraits superb but also the names given to each dog. A good reminder that people do look like their dogs!

‘Dogs’ playing cards created by Chet Phillips, 2016

Above: the suits of hearts and clubs depict literary figures and artists, respectively. Chet had considered adding court graphics, but deferred in the end, keeping the focus on the dog portraits and puns. “Perhaps the closest I came, in a subtle way, of "kingliness" etc. was being mindful of the hierarchy of figures - Marlon Brando, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Elvis etc. as the pinnacles of their craft.”

‘Dogs’ playing cards created by Chet Phillips, 2016

Above: diamonds and spades depict famous musicians and film stars. All the numeral cards also depict canine portraits.

‘Dogs’ playing cards created by Chet Phillips, 2016 ‘Dogs’ playing cards created by Chet Phillips, 2016

Above: the poker-sized pack is completed with 4 suit cards, two different jokers, an extra card and a custom back design, manufactured to a high quality and presented inside a smart tuck box. Available to purchase here

Chet Phillips also created Steam Ark Playing Cards

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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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