The World of Playing Cards Logo 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.

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10 Articles
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Children’s Vocabulary Cards

Thai Children’s Colour Vocabulary Cards promoting Ovaltine chocolate malt drink, 2016 • Nov 30, 2016

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Chitrashala Press

Chitrashala Press produced some charming children's pictorial alphabet cards for early learning purposes in the 1940s. • Aug 11, 2013

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Jaime Margarit - Recreo Infantil

'Recreo Infantil' children's educational cards published by Jaime Margarit, Palamós (Gerona) c.1888 • Aug 31, 2013

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The summer of 1932 saw the introduction of Lexicon, when a small edition was produced and sold to test the market. • Aug 29, 2015

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Majas Alfabets Spel

Majas Alfabets Spel beautifully illustrated by Lena Andersson, 1980s. • Feb 14, 2021

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My Word

My Word “The last word in card games” designed by Michael Kindred and Malcolm Smith, published in 1980 by Waddingtons. • Jun 09, 2020

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Spelka, a word game published by John Jaques & Son Ltd, c.1908. • Jul 11, 2015

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Spell word game published by Pepys Games, 1958. • Aug 17, 2019

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Sylabex / Wordmaker

Sylabex / Wordmaker was first published by Pepys in 1948. • Oct 13, 2012

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The New Game of Animals

This Victorian card game contains imaginatively designed letters which spell the name of an animal, with one card representing the animal spelt • May 19, 2014