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Published June 16, 2022 Updated June 22, 2022

National Playing Cards by Theory11

Playing cards inspired by mysterious symbolism of secret societies as well as a tribute to the National Playing Card Co.

2019 USA Studio on Fire Theory11 United States Playing Card Co. Adam Moore Luxury Symbols Add to Collection

Above: plastic seal which continues the theme of symbolism, including a skull, dagger, eye and stars, with the text "seek" and "find, as well as "expose cheaters" and "have fun, don't lie. See the seal on the box.

Buy National Playing Cards by Theory11 on Amazon Buy Now

Artist and entrepreneur Adam Moor (also known as Harold Apples) collaborated with Theory11 and Studio on Fire to produce this ultra-intricate deck of luxury playing cards in 2019. Moor considers himself a nighttime illustrator for projects of all sorts, and spends his days as an Art Director for Lonely Planet.

On the production of the deck, Moor says "originally I was planning on producing a deck on my own. I started approaching letterpress studios who were making decks and I stumbled upon Studio on Fire who produces all of the tuck cases for Theory11".

Theory11 adds "each tuck case is embossed and detailed with striking gold and black foil, inside and out" and "you will not find a more perfect deck of cards for magic, cardistry or poker."

The courts and aces have fully custom designs, and the number cards also have flourishes. The deck has gold inks throughout the artwork, enhancing the retro style artwork.

Moor explains "I had been playing around with this flat, sort of retro, very textured illustration style. Over time the deck morphed into a secret society tribute. I got obsessed with working in a ridiculous amount of symbology to basically make the Illuminati’s official deck of cards.

About halfway through the process, Moor says "we decided to name the deck National as a tribute to the long gone National Playing Card Company that produced beautiful decks until the late 1800’s".

we really went above and beyond with this one, using lots of gold foil and multiple inks on all of the card designs.

Theory11 focuses on the production of luxury decks such as Monarchs and film franchises such as Marvel's Avengers.

There are 56 cards in the deck: 52 playing cards, 2 jokers, 2 gaff cards. The gaff cards serve as advertisements for Theory11, with their slogan "the ultimate high-end luxury playing cards". See the gaffs .

Above: the front of the box. Printed on thick black stock, letterpressed with gold foil.

Above: the back of the box.

Top Row: the ace of spades, joker and the back. Bottom Row: aces illustrated in a retro style.

References

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By Adam Wintle

Member since March 15, 1997

Adam has been involved in developing the site as well as reviewing new decks and conducting research. He is particularly interested in innovation, Kickstarter and East Asian cards. He is a member of the IPCS and webmaster of the EPCS.


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