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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.

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Designers

16 Articles

Ciel de France for Miro Company

‘Ciel de France’ published by Miro Company (Paris) featuring designs by Jacques Branger, c.1950

Ciel de France for Miro Company

Max Velthuijs for KLM

Playing cards designed by Max Velthuijs for KLM airlines first published c.1964

Max Velthuijs for KLM

Teddy Bear Pack

The Teddy Bear pack of playing cards created by Peter Wood, 1994

Teddy Bear Pack

Math Stack

“Math Stack” playing cards designed by Diana Stanciulescu, illustrating and explaining 36 important mathematical constants, published by EduStack in India

Math Stack

De la Rue for export

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

De la Rue for export

Krienser Fasnachts-Jass 1988

The Krienser Fasnachts-Jass deck was designed and published by Léon Schnyder from Kriens for the 1988 Fasnacht Carnival

Krienser Fasnachts-Jass 1988

Geneviève Lirola

Stylish modern designs by the painter, decorator and ceramist Geneviève Lirola, featuring unity of colours in each suit.

Geneviève Lirola

Renée Sturbelle

Artistic playing cards with abstract designs by Renée Sturbelle, first published by Brepols S.A., Turnhout, 1947.

Renée Sturbelle

The 52 Club

The London College of Printing '52 Club' Designers and Artists playing cards, 1984.

The 52 Club

Siriol Clarry

Playing cards designed by Siriol Clarry

Siriol Clarry

Prof. Franciszek Bunsch

Prof. Franciszek Bunsch, Polish playing-card designer.

Prof. Franciszek Bunsch

Anna Gaber

Anna Gaber playing cards from Poland.

Anna Gaber