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The Art & Design of Playing Cards

Playing Card Design

The playing card calls for artistic treatment and although the constrained size imposes some limitations there is an almost bewildering wealth and variety of designs in playing cards and their tuck boxes. The serious player requires design to be unobtrusive so that aesthetic considerations remain in the background. However, with modern manufacturing technology more eye-catching designs are becoming popular as gifts, collectibles and for their attractive appearance.

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Crystal Time 1994

Crystal Time

Colourful and attractive designs by Violeta Monreal, inspired by stained glass through the ages.

Danbrit 1936


Danbrit playing cards by Alf Cooke, 1930s

De la Rue for export 1930

De la Rue for export

Non-standard playing cards produced by De la Rue & Co. (London), c.1930s

Delta Playing Cards 1988

Delta Playing Cards

Delta playing cards are a modern art concept deck invented by Professor M. R. Ali, an artist operating under the company name of “Artology International”.

Deutche Karten 1982

Deutche Karten

Karl Gerich's ‘Deutche Karten’ playing cards No.9, printed from copperplate etchings.

Deutfracht Seereederei Rostock II 1988

Deutfracht Seereederei Rostock II

Maritime deck designed by Klaus Ensikat for Deutsche Seereederei Rostock, GDR.

Deutsche Reichsbahn 1989

Deutsche Reichsbahn

Deutsche Reichsbahn (German Railways) deck designed by Peter Becker, 1989

Dilkhus playing cards for India 1922

Dilkhus playing cards for India

Van Genechten was one of the most competent cardmakers in Turnhout and they produced almost every kind of foreign pack for clients all around the world.

Disability Daily

Disability Daily

Disability Daily playing cards designed by Tamasin Cole.

Einhorn 1986


‘Einhorn’ designed by Richard König, c.1986.

El Aguila 1975

El Aguila

Naipes ‘El Aguila’ with flamboyantly dressed court figures made in Mexico by La Cubana S.A., c.1975.

El Niño de las Pinturas 2010

El Niño de las Pinturas

Forty-nine distinctive works by Spanish graffiti artist Raúl Ruiz.

Erlenmeyer City Sights 2015

Erlenmeyer City Sights

Erlenmeyer City Sights hand-illustrated playing cards by Stephanie Gray, 2015.

Estate Playing Cards 2006

Estate Playing Cards

Estate Playing Cards with five suits designed by Keith Wilson

Estelares 1950


Naipes Estelares playing cards manufactured by Luis A. Fourvel y Cia., Buenos Aires, early 1950s.

Europe 1962


“Europe” designed by Teodoro N. Miciano and printed by Heraclio Fournier in 1962, portraying XIV century European fashions.

F. Molina Campos 2004

F. Molina Campos

Unofficial Edition of Molina Campos playing cards, anonymous publisher, 2004.

Falta Envido 1982

Falta Envido

Naipes Argentinos para Truco "Falta Envido" created by Alberto Soifer with Gaucho courts and variant suit symbols, 1982.

Fashion Face Off 2011

Fashion Face Off

“Fashion Face Off” card game illustrated by Erin Petson for Laurence King Publishing, c.2011.

Festa Major de Vilafranca 1988 1988

Festa Major de Vilafranca 1988

Colourful figures associated with the annual festival held in Vilafranca, Catalonia.