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Published February 28, 2023 Updated February 28, 2023

Pressers playing cards

Pressers playing cards with illustrations by Aaron Johnson printed by USPCC for Ellusionist in 2014.

2014 USA United States Playing Card Co. Aaron Johnson Movies & Film Pop Culture Add to Collection

In 2013 Anderson Design Group was approached by Ellusionist, a company that makes playing cards for magicians, to create a vintage deck of cards based in 60s advertising. The resulting pack was printed by USPCC in 2014. See the box

Inspired by the hit TV series Madmen, illustrator Aaron Johnson came up with this non-standard retro 60s vintage design pack. The back of the cards features a simple design filled with small, white dots against a teal green background. The court cards are fully customized, portraying women and men drinking and smoking, and all cards have a customised font. The hearts and diamond suits are in burnt orange rather than red. There are two additional advertising cards.

Pressers playing cards with illustrations by Aaron Johnson printed by USPCC in 2014 Pressers playing cards with illustrations by Aaron Johnson printed by USPCC in 2014 Pressers playing cards with illustrations by Aaron Johnson printed by USPCC in 2014

Above: Pressers playing cards with illustrations by Aaron Johnson printed by USPCC for Ellusionist in 2014.

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By Peter Burnett

Member since July 27, 2022

I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.

Russian Playing Cards

Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.

Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.


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