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Art & Design

259 Articles

The design of a pack of playing cards involves a balance between utilitarian constraints and artistic possibilities.

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‘El Cid’ designed by E. Pastor, Valencia, Spain, c.1875

‘El Cid’ fantasy playing cards designed by E. Pastor, Valencia, Spain, c.1875

‘El Cid’ designed by E. Pastor, Valencia, Spain, c.1875 1875

14: Back Designs

A few examples of the many interesting back designs.

14: Back Designs

19: 19th Century Breaks With Tradition - Unusual Versions of the Standard English Pattern

The centuries-long tradition of English court cards was subject to misinterpretation and in some cases a desire for individuality. Here are some examples of breaks with that tradition.

19: 19th Century Breaks With Tradition - Unusual Versions of the Standard English Pattern

1900 Jeu de Cartes

‘Jeu de Cartes 1900’ designed by Marie Christine Schira in the Art Nouveau or Jugendstil style, 1979.

1900 Jeu de Cartes 1979

26th Yankee Division

“26th Yankee Division Playing Cards” was designed by Alban B. Butler, Jr and printed by the Press of the Woolly Whale, New York, in 1933.

26th Yankee Division 1933

28: How to Analyze and Differentiate Playing Card Plates (De La Rue, Waddington and the Berlin pattern [französisches Bild])

My interest in postage stamp variants led me to apply the same principles to playing cards.

28: How to Analyze and Differentiate Playing Card Plates (De La Rue, Waddington and the Berlin pattern [französisches Bild])

33: Functional Changes to Playing Cards

The emphasis throughout my collecting has been on the design of the courts cards, and it should be pointed out that there have been some functional changes to cards, which have affected the traditional designs, especially in the 19th century.

33: Functional Changes to Playing Cards

40: More on Design Copies and Fakes

The issue of design copies needs further consideration and when does a copy become a fake?

40: More on Design Copies and Fakes

51: Some modern variation

A brief survey of some of the current variation in the standard English pattern.

51: Some modern variation

68: Playing cards in glass

My wife and I have recently commissioned a unique pair of stained glass windows for our home.

68: Playing cards in glass

About Emily Arkin

Emily Arkin is an artist from Somerville, MA.

About Emily Arkin 2001

About Peter Wood

PETER WOOD is a UK based artist.

About Peter Wood

About Shelley Fowles

Shelley Fowles was born in South Africa but has lived in the United Kingdom since 1979. She trained in Art in Brighton and London.

About Shelley Fowles

African Art

“African Art” Playing cards by John J. Beckvermit III, 1994

African Art 1994

Age of Dragons

Age of Dragons by Anne Stokes, 2017.

Age of Dragons 2017

Alcatel

Alcatel playing cards published by Éditions Dusserre, c.1970s

Alcatel

Alfreds Scwedrevitz

This pack was issued during wartime, in 1936, under the name “Latvian Red Cross Cards No.7”.

Alfreds Scwedrevitz 1936

Alice

Alice with artwork by Jesús Blasco, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.

Alice 2003

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland playing cards designed by Sasha Dounaevski, 2018.

Alice in Wonderland 2018

Ancient Civilisations

Ancient Civilisations playing cards designed by Celedonio Perellón, produced by Heraclio Fournier, 1973.

Ancient Civilisations 1973

Anna Gaber

Anna Gaber playing cards from Poland.

Anna Gaber

Anne Stokes Collection

Anne Stokes Collection playing cards, 2010.

Anne Stokes Collection 2010

Anonymous Dutch deck, 1940s

Anonymous Dutch deck, 1940s

Anonymous Dutch deck, 1940s

Arnold Schönberg

In around 1909 he created three sets of playing cards. His inventiveness was driven by a passion for rules, order and numbers.

Arnold Schönberg 1909

Balázs Pál Nagy's Playing Cards

Balázs Pál Nagy's Playing Cards

Balázs Pál Nagy's Playing Cards

Balázs Pál Nagy's Tell No. 3306 Playing Cards

Balázs Pál Nagy Tell 3306

Balázs Pál Nagy's Tell No. 3306 Playing Cards

Banque Nationale de Paris, c.1962

Special deck made for La Banque Nationale de Paris by Van Genechten, Turnhout, c.1962.

Banque Nationale de Paris, c.1962 1962

Baracca & Burattini

Baracca & Burattini puppetry deck printed by Dal Negro, 1998.

Baracca & Burattini 1990

Baraja "Te Amo" cartoons by Serafín

Baraja 'Te Amo' con dibujos de Serafín en tirada de 500 ejemplares numerados, 48 naipes. Fabricado por Naipes Comas (Barcelona) 2002.

Baraja 2002

Baraja “Neoclásica”, Madrid, 1810

Baraja “Neoclásica” engraved by José Martínez de Castro, first published by Clemente Roxas, Madrid, 1810.

Baraja “Neoclásica”, Madrid, 1810 1810

Baraja Asescoin 1998

Asescoin 1998 member’s pack designed by Josep Soriano.

Baraja Asescoin 1998 1998

Baraja Digital

Baraja Digital by Naipes De La Cigüeña, 1990.

Baraja Digital 1990

Baraja Edad Media

Baraja Edad Media, fantasy Spanish-suited medieval playing cards published Mas-Reynals, Barcelona, 1993. Designed by M. Malé and illustrated by V. Maza.

Baraja Edad Media 1993

Baraja Literaria

“Baraja Literaria” Spanish pack with cartoons by Serafín, published by Asescoin and manufactured by Naipes Comas, 2002.

Baraja Literaria 2002

Baraja Marinera

‘Baraja Marinera’ designed by Francisco Javier San Juan, published by Asescoin (Madrid), 1995

Baraja Marinera 1995

Baroque No.2118

“Baroque” by Ferd Piatnik & Sons, Vienna, reflecting a bygone era of fashion.

Baroque No.2118

Barribal Series

William H. Barribal (1873 - 1956) was a London artist who created the Waddingtons 'Barribal' playing cards series, which are avidly collected today.

Barribal Series 1933

Bartlett Ackermann Transformation

Pictorial playing cards published by C. Bartlett, New York, 1833.

Bartlett Ackermann Transformation 1833

Basler Fasnachts-Karten

The Basler Fasnachts deck is designed each year by a different local artist.

Basler Fasnachts-Karten

Berliner Originale

“Berliner Originale” designed by Manfred Bofinger, 1986.

Berliner Originale 1986

Bharata Playing Cards

Bharata Playing Cards - Series 2, based on Indian folk art, published by Sunish Chabba, 2018.

Bharata Playing Cards 2018

Bicycle 808 Bourbon

Bicycle 808 Bourbon themed deck by US Playing Card Company 2017.

Bicycle 808 Bourbon 2017

Bicycle Butterfly

Bicycle Butterfly playing cards from RSVP Magic with artwork by ‘Lotrék’ and printed by USPCC, 2012.

Bicycle Butterfly 2012

Bicycle Knights

Bicycle Knights playing cards designed by Sam Hayles in 2018.

Bicycle Knights 2018