Balázs Pál Nagy : designer and manufacturer
In 1983 I become a college teacher, majoring in math and art. During the years I have created many graphic designs using several printmaking techniques. Later on in 1988 I truly discovered my deep affection for playing cards and started to collect them.
I developed the idea of designing and constructing my own decks and creating other card related art. I took time to research the trade, history, tradition, ethnicity and customs of cards, and only began work on my own designs 3 years ago. These were initially produced with silkscreen techniques, then I started to craft blockprinted and silkscreen coloured cards. In 2003, with the help of a friend in the printing business, my first offset-printed cards were born. The card face designs of these packs were hand drawn illustrations, and for the pre-press and press segments of the work I applied modern and professional techniques.
In the future I will specialise in manufacturing purely handmade playing cards. I am trying to rekindle old traditional practices - like blockprinting (woodcut) and intaglio printing (copper engraving) techniques.
Designing and constructing these playing cards is not my day job, and I do not want to get rich off of it - strange it might sound. Every week I go to work to teach the next generation of animators and graphic designers in a well-known art school in Kecskemét, Hungary. Working on my playing cards is strictly something I do in my free time.
Now I have decided to have my works available to fellow collectors. So, my web site is especially designed for serious collectors to visit and purchase limited and numbered editions of playing card decks and other card art.
Member since February 01, 1996View Articles
Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.
Rock paintings and engravings of the San people, better known as the “Bushmen”.
This deck is named after Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu, Cardinal-Duc de Richelieu (1585-1642), a French Roman Catholic Clergyman and statesman, Chief Adviser to King Louis XIII, noted for the authoritarian measures he employed to maintain power.
Schweizer Trachten No.174 (Costumes Suisses) by Dondorf.
Hand-drawn Transformation cards, c.1870.
Alice with artwork by Jesús Blasco, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Liberty playing cards designed by Antonella Castelli, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Römihártya pin-up deck from Hungary.
Baracca & Burattini puppetry deck printed by Dal Negro, 1998.
Sherlock Holmes deck with caricatures by Jeff Decker published by Gemaco Playing Card Co. 1989
Martin Mystère based on the comic book by Alfredo Castelli. The cards were designed by Giancarlo Alessandrini.
‘Seefahrers’ maritime deck designed by Klaus Ensikat for Deutsche Seereederei Rostock, GDR.
Ukiyo-E deck for Sanyo Enterprise Co.
Year of the Child commemorative deck designed by Jhan Paulussen, 1979.
The Maya Deck produced by Stancraft for Hoyle, 1976.
Persian Miniatures, made in Hungary c.1990.
‘Einhorn’ designed by Richard König, c.1986.
Pin-up Rummy Playing Cards, made in Hungary, c.1970.
Hungarian Drinking Skat, c.2004.
Facsimile of ‘Wilhelm Tell’ Hungarian deck by Salamon Antal, Keczkemét, 1860.
Bathing Beauties throughout the ages, published in Hungary, 1967.
Bicycle Steampunk playing cards with Gothic artwork by Anne Stokes, 2015.
“Renaissance” playing card designs by A I Charlemagne, 1862.
Bicycle Knights playing cards designed by Sam Hayles in 2018.
‘Friendly Felines’ playing cards designed by Azured Ox, 2017.
Gods of Egypt playing cards dedicated to the culture of Ancient Egypt.
Bicycle 808 Bourbon themed deck by US Playing Card Company 2017.
Alice in Wonderland playing cards designed by Sasha Dounaevski, 2018.
“Kaiserkarte” first published by Schneider & Co in 1895-1897 for the Imperial Court.
Age of Dragons by Anne Stokes, 2017.
Anne Stokes Collection playing cards, 2010.
The Deck of Cards by Andrew Jones Art, 1979.
Hungarian pin-up deck illustrated by Imre Sebök, c.1960.
My wife and I have recently commissioned a unique pair of stained glass windows for our home.
Chinese playing card makers have probably produced the widest variety of jokers of any single part of the world.
An unknown deck by Ken McCarthy, c.2018.
Les Grandes Figures de L’Histoire Bretonne
Kalevala playing cards by Sunish Chabba and Ishan Trivedi inspired by ancient Finnish mythology.
Hearts of London for British Heart Foundation 2009.
Worshipful Company Pack manufactured by Chas Goodall & Son, 1893.
Roman Empire playing cards designed by G. Wyatt for Green Board Game Co Ltd., 2011.