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.

Browsing keyword:

artwork

10 Articles

Whimsical Playing Cards

Whimsical Playing Cards by Turkish designer & illustrator Oksal Yesilok, 2016

Whimsical Playing Cards

Punch Studio: ‘Geisha Girls’

‘Geisha Girls’ playing cards published by Punch Studio, Culver City, CA., 2013

Punch Studio: ‘Geisha Girls’

Four Point

“Four Point” playing cards, a labour of love designed and illustrated by Ben Vierck, 2014

Four Point

Terracotta Army

Each card has a different photo of elements of the terracotta army whose purpose was to protect the emperor Qin Shi Huang in his afterlife.

Terracotta Army

Hiroshige Ukiyo-e playing cards

“Hiroshige” playing cards drawn by Hiroshige Ando (1797-1858) at 53 stopoffs on the journey from Edo (Tokyo) to Kyoto.

Hiroshige Ukiyo-e playing cards

Music Manuscripts

Artwork featuring playing cards in Music Manuscripts

Music Manuscripts

L. P. Holmblad, c.1845

Holmblad ordered his earlier designs to be re-drawn and updated. Comparison of packs from this era show instances where one figure is replaced by another more imposing version.

L. P. Holmblad, c.1845