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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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On the Cards

28 Articles

Gilbert & Sullivan Cards

“Gilbert & Sullivan” hand-made Savoy Operas pack designed and created by Rex Pitts.

Gilbert & Sullivan Cards

Alison McDonald

Artwork for The Watersprite Tarot© designed and painted by Alison McDonald.

Alison McDonald

David James Binns

Hand-made “Tudor Playing Cards” by David James Binns, age 12.

David James Binns

Production Methods for Small Scale Editions

Some alternative approaches to producing small, hand-made editions of playing cards

Production Methods for Small Scale Editions

Cats, Cakes, Clothes and Cups

Dianne Longley is a print artist who produces books and folios as well as intaglio and relief prints.

Cats, Cakes, Clothes and Cups

About Witta Jensen

WITTA JENSEN… on the cards.

About Witta Jensen

About Karl Gerich

About Karl Gerich.

About Karl Gerich

John Newman’s Colour Cards

John Newman’s Colour Cards

John Newman’s Colour Cards

Teddy Bear playing cards & artwork

Teddy Bear playing cards & artwork, 1996.

Teddy Bear playing cards & artwork

About Peter Wood

PETER WOOD is a UK based artist.

About Peter Wood

Hidden Mickeys

“HiddenMickeys” by Peter Wood

Hidden Mickeys

The Enchanted Journey

Cards from the delightful Enchanted Journey playing-cards by Karen Curran of Australia.

The Enchanted Journey

About Georgina Harvey

Georgina Harvey worked together with Karl Gerich.

About Georgina Harvey

About Emily Arkin

About Emily Arkin

About Emily Arkin

Gallery of Playing Card Designers & Artists

Gallery of Playing Card Artists and Designers

Gallery of Playing Card Designers & Artists

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

About Catherine Kelly

Catherine Kelly, M.A. Paint and Print, B.A. History of Art and Fine Art Painting, is an artist working in Dublin

About Catherine Kelly

About Heraclio Díaz

Heraclio Díaz lives in the Canary Islands (Spain).

About Heraclio Díaz

About Shon Gwynn

About Shon Gwynn

Self-Nurturing Solitaire

Self-Nurturing Solitaire by Idelle Jones,

Self-Nurturing Solitaire

Safe as Houses by Catherine Kelly

My current work evolved from using a pack of cards as a metaphor to explore the randomness of life and the luck of the draw.

Safe as Houses by Catherine Kelly

Welcome to ‘On The Cards’

Welcome to ‘On The Cards’

Welcome to ‘On The Cards’

Grace Cards

My creativity proved useful in the Primary School classroom and children's clubs I run at Brooke Baptist Church in Norfolk...

Grace Cards