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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Pictorial Review: Rare Playing Cards - Colour Feature 1 - Colourful Play (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EndersGame
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* * * MORE RARE PLAYING CARDS - COLOURS & PATTERNS FEATURE! * * *

Rare Playing Cards

I'm not an artist. I'm not even remotely artistic. In fact, when playing Pictionary, EPYC, or similar drawing games, I'm the person whose pictures everyone laughs at, because they are so miserable!

But I do have a number of family members, relatives, and friends who are artists, both professional and amateur. That doesn't make me an expert on art by any means. But it does mean that over time I've seen a lot of art, and I've also learned to appreciate and enjoy it. Still very much as an observer and admirer, rather than as a creator of course - and I doubt that will ever change!

So it will come as no surprise that I also love artistic playing cards. I love playing traditional card games - and those who scoff at the idea might just be surprised how good and enduring some of the classics like two player Cribbage or how much fun a social partnership game of Scopa can be! I'm happy to play a card game with a standard deck, but for me the experience becomes all the more pleasant when I'm using a beautiful deck of cards, that gives me something to appreciate and enjoy during rare moments of down time. And to be honest, I also don't mind owning some decks of cards as a pure collector, but my standards are quite high - I don't want poor quality cards, and I like a high degree of customization. A deck that is out of the ordinary, something rare, for me that really adds to the experience of a game.

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Colourful Playing Cards

All that said, it makes sense that I'm going to be interested in quality and artistic playing cards. Standard playing cards are readily available, but a good quality custom deck is something that the average person often hasn't seen before, simply because they are somewhat scarce or rare, in comparison to your typical Bicycle or department store budget deck. But fortunately these beautiful and rare artistic decks are readily available from online retailers, and my own favourite source is Rare Playing Cards. They sell hundreds of stunning decks of playing cards which are not easily found or purchased elsewhere. Not only are these playing cards of high quality card stock, but they also have many decks that are just the thing I love: vibrant colours and patterns.

And that's what this review is all about. I've picked some of my favourite decks of playing cards that showcase bright colours and engaging patterns. I love rainbows, I love colours, and I love arrangements of colours that are interesting and captivating, especially when colours and patterns are arranged in new or eye-catching ways. So let's show you some rare playing cards that I'm excited about, quality decks with colourful playfulness, colourful art, and colourful magic!

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* * * RARE PLAYING CARDS WITH COLOURFUL PLAY * * *

Let's begin with some uses of colour that evoke a sense of playfulness and charm, and perhaps even memories of childhood and youth, and the exhuberance and colour that this phase of life often involves. Almost every child will have memories of their first year at school, and getting to play with a set of coloured pencils or crayons. But colouring in isn't just for kids, it's for grown-ups too. The creative decks I've decided to review in this category all show that the energy and mischief that first emerges in our childhood, need not disappear with age. Rather, that mischievous sense of play gets opportunity to be moulded by the layers of time that surrounds it, and finds new way to express itself.

BROSMIND DECK

We'll begin our journey through the delightful world of colour and playfulness with the charming Brosmind deck. The artwork for this playful deck was produced by Brosmind, an award-winning and creative design studio based in Barcelona.

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The artists behind Brosmind are the Mingarro brothers, Juan and Alejandro, whose style is fresh and optimistic, and typically combines fantasy and humour. You only need to catch a glimpse of the artwork of the Mingarro brothers, and it's evident that these are guys who are both fun-loving and talented, the kind of guys that would be fun to hang around with, given their sense of energy and dynamism.

Here's an example of their work for a Coca Cola ad campaign.

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You can see more of their work on Behance here and their Brosmind website.

The charming deck box features an usual colour palette that would be at home in a cheerful and welcoming Grade 1 classroom, and the cartoon-like image of an exaggerated and amusing figure on a tiny bike can't but help put a smile on your face:

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The Brosmind deck features 54 unique illustrations that were designed exclusively for this project. If you look carefully, a smiling robot figure (complete with pirate patch) is hidden in disguise within the bright pink card-back design.

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The Ace of Spades appears in a playful version of its usual shape, while the other cards all feature fun characters as the artwork, the Spades suit having a food theme.

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Here's some examples of the humorous court cards, which feature humanized machinery:

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The Bromind deck just oozes charm, both outside and in!

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Super cute? You bet! Notice that even the pips on the indices are smiling!

I love these walking bottles, which are the theme of the diamonds suit!

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And here are our two friendly Bromind artists themselves, on a promo card that comes along with the charming Joker in the deck, waving us a cheery hello.

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While the deck looks cut in these photos, it's even more impressive in real life!

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DRAWING SCRATCH DECK

Seeing as we're playing around with colours and patterns, how about playing around with some truly kindergarten stuff, with the Drawing Scratch deck?

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This colourful deck, produced by JL Magic, brings us back to the days of playful kindergarten art.

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We've all done this in our childhood, surely: use coloured chalks on white paper, then cover it with black, and scratch off the black with a sharp object to make a new drawing in bright colours.

The result is a colourful and rough look, that on these cards appears just like the authentic `scratching' of scratch art would.

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Each suit also has its own colour, to ensure that they are easily distinguished, and also colourful.

The court cards have a stylish design based around the shape of the pip, while the signature Ace of Spades card includes details about the name of the deck and its origin.

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The card backs feature a rainbow pattern of scratched pips, while the Jokers are also very colourful.

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The cards look as if they have artwork taken straight from a chalk board, or from a classroom!

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This deck was printed by USPCC, maker of the Bicycle brand cards, in a quality finish, and is the perfect example of something colourful and playful.

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The end product is a good all-purpose deck, because the colourful card backs look beautiful whether used for cardistry or for a game of cards. This makes the Drawing Scratch suitable for a variety of occasions - even if you're no longer in kindergarten!

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FIRECRACKER DECK

Now that we've got ourselves a little pumped, are we ready for explosions of colour with some real fireworks? I love some excitement, and the Firecracker deck looks explosive from the moment you first set eyes on the box, which has been cleverly designed to look exactly like a package of actual fireworks.

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This deck was originally created in a Kickstarter campaign by The Futurist Co, timed to be released ahead of the 4th of July. But let's face it, fireworks are fun at any time of the year, especially with the colour they add to the night sky!

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The tuck box design was inspired from authentic firecracker artwork made in Macau in the 1950s. It even comes complete with a warning: "CAUTION - EXPLOSIVE. Place on ground. Light fuse and get away. Use outdoors under adult supervision only. Do not hold in hand."

The packaging is intended as a tribute to those hot summer nights, where neighbourhood children would gleefully unwrap a package like this, and get their thrills blowing stuff up!

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The card-back has a vintage look, and illustrates a number of firework bombs strung together.

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The court cards are decked in gold, to ensure a minimal colour scheme that looks beautiful, and yet where the colours don't detract from the overall effect.

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In keeping with the theme and setting, the cards have a deliberate vintage look, with a yellowed and aged touch, where elements of the cards look faded and worn. This is particularly evident on the court cards, but all the card faces employ a beige colour and are designed to appear as if they were printed on wrinkled paper, which heightens the retro feel.

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The pips also have a thematic touch - they are exploding into life!

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A fading effect has also been implemented to the pips, to enhance this effect even further. Here's a look at all the Aces:

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As a final touch, the Jokers feature a 1950s version of Lady Luck herself sits astride a rocket - similar artwork is used on the box cover - while card-backs also have enough colour to enhance the look of a fan or spread.

From the moment I first saw this deck, I knew it would go off like a bang, and be a big hit, and that's exactly the reaction it's had with people who have seen it!

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* * * RECOMMENDATION * * *

So are these colourful decks from Rare Playing Cards something for you? This isn't the first time I've sourced cards from Rare Playing Cards, and I continue to be impressed with the playing cards they offer, and the spectrum of colourful playing cards featured in this article has only confirms my conclusions:

Colour: I'll start with the obvious: there's a whole lot of colour on display here! There's something about colour that can produce a vibrant sense of energy, enthusiasm, excitement, and life. There's no doubt that the kinds of decks like the ones featured here produce similar results, as a result of the diverse and bright colours they use.

Patterns: Colour on its own is merely one element of design - it needs to be accompanied with an overall and pleasing aesthetic design, which makes good use of the canvas of a playing card. Designers need to consider carefully the effect of lines and patterns not only in terms of how a single card will look on its own, but also the cumulative effect of a series of cards when displayed in concert as part of a fan or spread, or when in motion. The striking and brightly coloured patterns on some of the card backs featured above are especially at their best when causing a cumulative effect in ribbon spreads and other moves, producing a stunning overall result.

Cardistry: Many of these decks were created for the explicit purpose of being used for card flourishers. Certainly card flourishers tend to be fussy about the decks that they use, and for good reason, since the visual aesthetics of their art-form will be magnified when combined with colours and patterns that accentuate the movement of cardistry. Decks like these are perfectly suited to this purpose, and these and many others make excellent choices for this art-form, especially because of their excellent use of colour and patterns.

Eye-catching: Many a deck of beautiful playing cards will catch the eye, but this will especially be the case when there is an eye-catching and colourful design. There's no doubt that playing cards like the ones here will be quickly noticed, and become an instant conversation piece when arriving on the game table.

Creative: I just love the creativity that has produced designs like these. The firecracker styled tuck box of the Firecracker deck; the amusing and cheeky charm of the Bosmind deck; the colourful geometrics of the Momento Mori deck; the explosive pinks and purples of the stellar Starlight decks; all these are the kinds of creativity that I love to see in a deck of playing cards, and really appreciate and enjoy.

Quality: The quality of these decks is consistently wonderful. These are not cheap quality playing cards like the ones you'd find in a corner store, but have been produced and printed by reputable printing companies like US Playing Card Company and Expert Playing Cards. There are all industry leaders, and respected for their consistently good card-stock and finishing, which proves to handle well and will be long-lasting.

If you're looking for an eye-catching and colourful deck of playing cards that is a looker on the table, and a quality product, the selection you'll find at Rare Playing Cards is hard to beat. It's great to discover stylish and stunning decks of playing cards that showcase the colour spectrum, and given that there's an extensive range of fun decks to choose from, almost everyone is going to find something that they'll love. I'm very pleased to recommend the decks I've featured in this review!

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What to learn more? Check out Rare Playing Cards

Direct links for the decks featured in this review:
- Colourful Play: Brosmind deck, Drawing Scratch deck, and Firecracker deck
- Colourful Art: Mondrian deck, Red Stripe deck, and Prime deck
- Colourful Magic: Memento Mori deck, Starlight Black Hole deck, and Starlight Shooting Star deck
- Colourful Times: Thick Lines deck

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BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame - click here to see all my pictorial reviews: => Magic Reviews <==> Playing Card Reviews <==> Board Game Reviews <==
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