Clever Packs of Playing Cards

Posted by // December 18th, 2012 // Graphic Design No Comments »

We all remember our school days when one of the naughty boys would bring in a pack of cards with topless women on the deck and everyone would have a cheeky look. Then as we grew up cards would become a more serious thing as we learned how to play poker and other gambling games in college / university. But just because the focus of playing cards is on what’s at stake, rather than the actual cards themselves, doesn’t mean we can enjoy and appreciate an eye-catching pack design. Playing cards have actually existed since the ninth-century after being invented in ancient China, with the common fifty-two card deck used today known as the ‘French deck’.

Below are some clever pack designs that stand out from the crowd:

Windows Solitaire

Solitaire was first included as a Windows operating system game in 1990 with the release of Windows 3.1. The game was developed by an intern, Wes Cherry, as a version of Klondike. With the general population still unfamiliar with graphical user interfaces, it was a simple way for a user to familiarise the use of a mouse and the now seemingly basic function of drag-and-drop. This pack pays homage to sunny beach design originally created by Leslie Kooy. The pixelated image is recreated from the Windows 98 version of the game and was designed by Evan Roth for the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Limited to five-hundred signed and numbered packs, the collection is now sold out.


Designed by Pieter Woudt, a New York-based Dutch designer for Kikkerland Design, these packs are made from transparent P.V.C. and allows the player to see through the hand in an unusual twist from the commonly paper-based cards. This pack is ideal for messy sessions that might be located in the hot tub or involve alcohol.


Bicycle has been producing card packs since 1885 and is part of the United States Playing Card Company. It regularly released new designs and is favoured by many magicians and illusionists such as David Blaine, Criss Angel and Dynamo. Their Zombie Deck features survival tips against potential zombie attacks with original artwork on both sides of the cards. The decks are printed on premium stock in a high-quality finish.

Stainless Steel

The Nevada stainless steel playing cards pack is etched from sheets of stainless steel and would be just as suitable as pieces of art on the walls of a poker room as they would be used for gaming. The cards are pre-cut and comes in an executive black needle-cord box with foam lining. Made by Touch of Ginger, the company has also released a limited edition version with a design paying tribute to the recent Olympic Games held in London.

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