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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.

Poker Faces by Alex Elsen

Poker Faces playing cards were illustrated by Alex Elsen and published by Verlag Um Die Ecke, Germany, 2015

Poker Faces

Poker Faces playing cards were illustrated by Alex Elsen and published by Verlag Um Die Ecke, Germany, 2015, evoking the seedy underworld of organised crime, tough guys, loose women, bartenders, Mafia brides and sailors. The cards are produced with grungy typefaces and additional details such as bullet holes, whisky stains and insects make this high quality deck guarantee hours of fun and enjoyment. Available from Poker Faces

Poker Faces playing cards illustrated by Alex Elsen and published by Verlag Um Die Ecke, Germany, 2015 Poker Faces playing cards illustrated by Alex Elsen and published by Verlag Um Die Ecke, Germany, 2015

Above: Poker Faces playing cards illustrated by Alex Elsen and published by Verlag Um Die Ecke, Germany, 2015

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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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