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Pippoglyph

Pippoglyph Playing Cards by Ben Crenshaw © 2004

Pippoglyph Playing Cards by Ben Crenshaw © 2004 Pippoglyph Playing Cards by Ben Crenshaw © 2004 Pippoglyph Playing Cards by Ben Crenshaw © 2004 Pippoglyph Playing Cards by Ben Crenshaw © 2004
 

Nicely redrawn version of the classic standard playing-card design, from Ben Crenshaw Studios. The pip symbols, court cards, jokers and back pattern have been given a very appealing treatment… a lavish reinterpretation of the classic courts and suits with respect for the traditions of cards and card players. Available online here

Ben Crenshaw


Pip - a seed, a spot on a playing card, a person or thing that is admired.
Glyph - a symbol, sign, or figure that is carved or drawn.

These are the beginnings of Pippoglyph playing cards.

An avid card player since learning the game of bridge from his grandfather as a child, for Ben Crenshaw creating the Pippoglyph deck was a labor of love. His intention was not to invent a new deck but to breathe a fresh life into old friends.

The hallmarks of his design are the expressive pips that give this deck its name. Inspired by illuminated manuscripts and Celtic art they are intricate jewels simultaneously organic and logical.

Ben's goal was to use his pips to introduce a sense of unity to his deck. His courts are royal families. Their matching costumes, like heraldic devices, are based on their own suits. His number cards share the same plush pips and framed background detail as their courtly cousins. The back of his deck continues to play with pip theme, wrapping the first edition cards with a diamond-heart tapestry. (Ben has also designed a club-spade back, but it will have to wait for the second edition to see production.)

For Ben it was important to maintain the traditional symbolism of the cards he grew up with. In his deck you will find all the familiar favorites, such as one-eyed jacks and the suicide king. In homage to Charles Goodall, father of the double headed court card, Ben chose to work closely with the abstract body shapes Charles introduced in 1860 as part of his innovative design.

As much as he enjoyed the challenge of creating a deck that was a faithful reinterpretation of classic playing card iconography one of Ben's greatest pleasures was the freedom he allowed himself with the Jokers. In the jester and juggler he introduced elements from his own personal experiences. Their details are reflections of many years of life on the road participating in Renaissance festivals.

A professional graphic designer for nearly 25 years Ben Crenshaw lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. In addition to his freelance graphic business Ben produces his own line of jewelry inspired by history and myth that he sells at Renaissance festivals, Celtic fairs, and through his website The Enchanted Glyph

Cards, logo, pips, and background pattern © Ben Crenshaw.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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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.


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