When I began this blog, I knew that playing cards and card games would be one of the things I wrote about from time to time.
There were a number of reasons for this: I’ve been rediscovering old games while I taught them to my family, I think social and family card games are worth reviving, and there was a general shortage of good writing about cards. Sure, Poker was covered (over-covered, if you ask me), but when was the last time your newspaper ran a Bridge column, or you learned how to play a new game?
Since cards are a very old and popular form of gaming, I suspected they had a rich history and lore. As I began reading more, I realized that this was true, and I’m particularly in debt to Pagat, writer David Parlett, and The International Playing Card Society for opening a fascinating window to this element of game history.
I also began to see an important artistic element to cards. I’ve been involved in printing and publishing for my entire adult life, so I’ve always had an eye for the aesthetic side of the graphical arts: color, form, design, typography, and the like. Some people find this boring, others fascinating. There’s an entire, highly acclaimed movie called Helvetica that’s just about a single font, so obviously I’m not alone in this.
For the month of September, I have a couple of things in store.
As I’ve said before, the only cards I use are from the US Playing Card Company, mostly Bicycles and Bees. When I got in contact with them last month, they provided me with examples from some of their others lines, and I was surprised to find distinct tactile, production, and design elements for each.
So, throughout September, I’ll be posting comments and detailed, high-res illustrations from each of these different lines. Take a moment and look at them. I’m going to pull out some visual details and talk about each and what makes them different. There will probably be about 7 of these posts, scattering throughout the month.
USPC was also kind enough to provide a few prizes for you, the readers. I’ll post the first of these later today, and explain how to enter to win. The first will be a set of World Series of Poker cards (2 decks, red and black) and a 5-pack of USPC dice.