If there is one inanimate object that best defines the last two years, it is the enigma. For one thing, the pandemic has ushered in an unprecedented level of chaos, as is the case when you first pull out hundreds of puzzle pieces. Then, there has been the need to occupy endless hours, especially those spent alone, that sat for many with the completion of all sorts of puzzles, whether minimalist or aesthetically generous.
Now, many of us are looking forward to spending time among friends and family this coming winter, and with that comes the promise of a new pastime potential: playing cards. I’m not talking about your classic bicycle deck – although they are certainly nostalgic and retain the feel of classic graphic design. There are tons of new card decks on the market – from Tony offerings by luxury fashion brands to pop culture-themed fare from card-focused brand Theory 11 – set to please serious players and idle time passers alike. has been duly set.
Art of Play is a California-based company founded by Dan and Dave Buck. The twin brothers are known as the pioneers of cardistry, the art of creating all kinds of fanciful motions and cards, and the company boasts a fascinating selection of designs done by artists including Philadelphia-based Armando Weave. Dan Buck says his Cabinetry deck took about two years to complete, and each card has “a unique illustration”. [from Veve’s] imaginative curiosity. ,
Noting that Art of Play’s customers include serious gamers, magicians, and collectors, Buck says the brand’s San Diego storefront allows the card-playing-curious to come in and see which decks best suit their visual preference. lets see. “It’s really fun for people to come inside and look at our giant wall,” says Buck. “It’s time to find out what fits them, what goes with their home decor, what goes with their style. These are all options, and we try to have a deck for everyone.” For those who have built up a reserve of card decks, Art of Play also sells an ornate, display-worthy DIY drawer that holds up to nine packs.
As part of Art of Play’s effort to bring a creative twist to the next part of your free time, the brand recently collaborated with Toronto-based design studio Humble Raja on their latest deck, the Forbidden Forest. The designs represent a fictional take on figures found in South Asian mythology, and are the second card deck created by the humble king.
The first, the kings of India, explores notable royalty from India’s Maurya, Gupta, Chola and Mughal dynasties. Studio founders Reena and Bhavesh Mistry, who grew up in Toronto, have South Asian ancestral roots. But as Reena admits, her knowledge of the history of the area was lacking.
“Our parents incorporated a lot of South Asian culture into our lives, but a lot of it was family traditions,” she says. “We didn’t really know much about more practical things like the history of India. [Creating] The Kings of India deck was a way of teaching ourselves about a part of our education that we felt was missing in the West. ,
In this way, the humble king’s card deck serves as a symbol of reconnection with the region’s rich past. “It’s a great way to categorize information,” says Rina. “And [for] telling a visual story in a way that isn’t necessarily a straight book, [but] Not as loose as a series of illustrations. ,
The Forbidden Forest card deck was launched as a Kickstarter campaign this fall, with the product set to appear in Humble King’s online store soon. The project raised more than $50,000 in one month—a testament to the appeal of purposeful play. Speaking of which, Rina offers these two lovely tips for your next gathering: choka (a trick-taking game) and golf (the eight-card version is a family favorite).
Kickstarter has proven to be fertile ground for card makers’ ideas. Product designer Rob Hallifax’s Cartesian Cards has just completed a campaign for his novel One Deck Game Card – A deck that can be used for exciting games of chess, backgammon, dominoes and more. The success of its campaign – at the time of writing, the money was At just over $125,000—perhaps not as much of a surprise to Halifax as the previous campaign for its first deck design featuring an array of cocktail recipes easily eclipsed its goal.
Maybe it’s because Halifax launched its card brand in 2020 after leaving a day job in the tech world, fueling an ambition to do its own thing and driven by a personal passion for cards, Not to mention addressing new quarantine-induced behaviors and interests. As a cocktail mix at home.
One Deck game cards also speak to our evolving needs, from the kind of activities we can do with them, to the fact that they can be easily packed for travel. But mostly, this and other unique decks fulfill that all-important personal unity we’ve been craving for months.
“Digital is the opposite of the domain and game [games] On the phone and on the computer,” Halifax says of the joy in sitting around a table, playing cards in one’s hands. “It’s nice enough to bring an analog product into the physical world that can bring people closer together.”
try your hand
Whether you’re looking to gift a gamer in your life, hoping to encourage a little visually enhanced social activity or just want to spend quality solitude time, consider one of these dynamic decks.
This retro-tinged set includes a case made from Demetra, an animal-free material that comes largely from plant-based components, something really out of the ordinary. geometric g playing card set, at $385 gucci,
Showcasing the exquisite craftsmanship of the women of the Black community of Jeez Bend, Ala., this set doubles your enjoyment of playing with a two card deck. GK Bend Play Card Quilt, at $24.95 Winnipeg Art Gallery,
With a custom design by art director and graphic designer Niels van Gijn, each card features a recipe for a classic tipple and recommended glassware. cocktail cardFor a deck through , £13.50 ($22.95) cartesiancards.com,