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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symbols

8 Articles

Emoticon

Emoticon playing cards designed by Buy Design Studios, 2016.

Emoticon

African Art

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

African Art

Divine Art Playing Cards - Relaunch

Divine Art Playing Cards by Sunish Chabba & Guru Playing Card Company, 2016.

Divine Art Playing Cards - Relaunch

Whimsical Playing Cards

Whimsical Playing Cards by Turkish designer & illustrator Oksal Yesilok, 2016

Whimsical Playing Cards

Nine Lives Playing Cards

Nine Lives Playing Cards designed by Annette Abolins, 2016

Nine Lives Playing Cards

Swastika designs

Swastika design playing cards by De La Rue, c.1925.

Swastika designs

Playing Cards and Religion

Early engravers and print makers made devotional images for pilgrims and people who could not afford paintings or books. Many of these craftsmen turned their hand to manufacturing playing cards to earn extra income. Stock images from the repertoire of devotional imagery might also de adapted to serve as playing card symbols.

Playing Cards and Religion