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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Pictorial Review: Rare Playing Cards - Colour Feature 4 - Colourful Art (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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

Rare & Colourful Playing Cards

Because I have family members, relatives, and friends who are professional and amateur artists, over time I've seen a lot of art, and I've also learned to appreciate and enjoy it. So I also love artistic playing cards. I love playing traditional card games, and while I'm happy to play a card game with a standard deck, for me the experience becomes all the more pleasant when I'm using a beautiful deck of cards. I also enjoy collecting decks of playing cards that have a high degree of customization, and are of a high quality all round. Fortunately such 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 series of reviews 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 ART * * *

But eventually every kid needs to grow up, and we need to graduate from the kindergarten school of crayons and colouring pencils. Perhaps some of us might even become real artists! And if not, at the very least we can enjoy some of the contributions to the world of art made by famous artists, and a deck of playing cards is the perfect canvas for showcasing some colourful artist designs. Some are by famous artists, others are artists who have just used playing cards as their chosen medium to create something colourful and beautiful.

MONDRIAN DECK

To start our journey to the colourful world of art, let's begin with a famous name, and so our first stop is to check out the Mondrian deck, which pays tribute to Dutch painter Piet Mondrian (1872–1944).

Mondrian was renowned for his influential grid-based style of work, which consisted of abstract compositions with straight lines and coloured rectangles. Produced in Paris in the 1920s, this style had a big influence on European painting, even founding an artistic movement known as De Stijl. And now it's also inspired a deck of playing cards! These playing cards were designed by Estonian card magician Toomas Pintson and Got Magic's founder Nicholas Earl, and this deck is directly based on Mondrian's unique and instantly recognizable style.

To add to the luxurious feel and authenticity, the tuck box has Mondrian's signature in silver foil, and the interior also has silver lining.

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The playing cards themselves have artwork on the card-backs to match the tuck box, and which capture Mondrian's distinct and instantly recognizable style of employing simple colours, straight lines, and rectangles.

The geometric forms, lines, and colours, have also determined the shape and style of the elegant and artistic Ace of Spades.

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The court cards retain the classic look, but the colour scheme has been altered to match the rest of the deck, using the primary colours that were a common feature of Mondrian's work.

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I'm confident that even Mondrian would appreciate the look of a deck like this in the hand of an expert!

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The number cards are standard, while the two Jokers feature a stylish lady, one in colour, the other in black and white.

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This deck is particularly well suited for card flourishing, and creating beautiful fans and spreads. Fortunately for the non-cardists, it is also practical enough to work well for playing games with, while remaining a colourful and faithful tribute to a true legend in the world of art.

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Produced by USPCC on their crushed Bee stock, this deck is also a quality product that has good handling and durability to match its colourful good looks.

RED STRIPE DECK

From Piet Mondrian, we now take a journey to the Cubist style of Pablo Picasso. Introducing the new Red Stripe deck, which unsurprisingly has as its chief notable feature: a red stripe!

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Our tour guide and creator of this deck is magician Omar Renfro, whose creative process began by hand-drawing all the cards, and then digitizing them.

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He describes the influences behind this vibrant and colourful deck as being stained glass, cardistry, modern art, and architecture.

The striking design of the card backs was actually the last stage of his design, to ensure that it would resemble the court cards in some way.

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The court cards have been described as having humorous Picasso-style faces. To create these, Omar began with freestyling abstract lines, filling the resulting shapes with colour, and then styling them into faces based on the elements typical of classical court cards.

The result is a radically unique interpretation that reflects a Cubist inspired style. The court cards are also borderless, with every line going to the very edge of the card.

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How did Omar end up here? Well the starting point of this concept was his desire to have a bold red stripe in the middle of the deck. In his words: "The design comes from the concept of wanting a solid stripe in the middle to accent the bright color palette I had in mind. I wanted to play with the idea of having a deck that was both borderless and bordered." This vivid red stripe is very eye-catching, and has a powerful impact on all card flourishes and moves, especially spreads and fans.

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This was a challenging goal to accomplish, and even Omar Renfro realized it. " I didn’t know how I wanted to execute the idea but I knew I wanted to apply the same concept to the face of the cards, so I started there." Omar wanted to change the orientation of a typical pip configuration, as well as use custom pips, and this is where his project began coming to life.

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From there he developed the card faces, including the court cards, and last of all the all-important card backs.

Not surprisingly, these cards are excellent for spectacular card flourishes, like the one Omar himself is demonstrating here!

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The Cubist style, continuous line work, and vibrant colours dominates all the cards, and it makes for a very energetic and "loud" deck that won't ever go unnoticed.

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For the production, Omar partnered with the Hanson Chien Playing Card Company (the name might be familiar as the designer of the famous Chicken Nugget deck), and these decks are printed in Taiwan, with their magic finish and the traditional cut preferred by most card flourishers.

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PRIME DECK

Sticking with bold patterns and bright colours brings us to the stunning Prime deck, which was designed by the UK's Ben Newman.

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Like the Mondrian deck, designer Ben Newman wanted to only use primary colours and simple shapes, to create a deck that is both striking and playful.

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The card faces all have custom illustrations, with the court cards created as composites from simple shapes, with minimal colours just like the card-backs.

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Besides the completely custom court cards, the Joker has also been customized with a similar style.

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The Hearts and Diamonds employ regular pips, whereas the Spades and Clubs use triangular and circular geometric shapes, which is particularly noticeable on the number cards.

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The borderless back design will especially be appreciated by fans of card flourishing, because it is ideal for fanning and for elaborate cuts, which do a good job of showcasing the colours, while the patterns will help accentuate the moves themselves.

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The Prime deck was produced by Dan and Dave, and printed in Taiwan by the Expert Playing Card Company, respected for their high quality cards.

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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 series:
- Colourful Play: Brosmind deck, Drawing Scratch deck, Firecracker deck
- Colourful Cardistry: Memento Mori deck, Thick Lines deck
- Colourful Astronomy: Starlight Black Hole deck, Starlight Shooting Star deck
- Colourful Art: Mondrian deck, Red Stripe deck, Prime 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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