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Reviewer EndersGame
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Newly released decks from Art of Play

Art of Play is known for its fine collection of carefully curated decks of high quality playing cards, many of which are optimized for cardistry or for playing card games. Run by cardistry innovators and pioneers Dan and Dave Buck, it is not only a paradise for those who appreciate unique games, puzzles, and playing cards, but it is also the online label under which the Buck twins produce their own brand of playing cards.

I've covered quite a large number of Art of Play's attractive decks previously, but this time I'd like to cover a number of their recently released decks, many of which continue series of other popular decks.


NOC Colorgrades

The NOC series of decks has been produced since 2012, under the guidance of magician Alex Pandrea, and is a very popular series of cards defined by simplicity and elegance, courtesy of a minimalistic design.

Now Art of Play has arranged a collaboration to produce their very own NOC Colorgrade decks, with two different options available: Desert Orange and Tropic Green.


These decks share similar traits with the other NOC decks, but the Art of Play touch is immediately evident from the tuck boxes. These are works of art, with a sleek black look, which on one side has a die-cutout that shows off the Art of Play logo with the help of the vibrant colours from the card backs.

On the other side of the tuck box is an even more complicated die-cut design, with a 5x7 pattern of circles, which reveal reveals the gradient on the card backs. Alternatively it can also reveal one of Art of Play's slogans on the card behind it: Epiphanies Await The Curious Mind. This immediately catches attention, and is a very creative and stylish touch.


The original NOC decks have gone through many incarnations, with relatively few adjustments besides a different choice for the solid colour used on the card backs. These new decks, however, take the series in a slightly new direction, since they make use of a gradient that has a range of colours within a spectrum, inspired by sunset for the Desert Orange deck, and inspired by forests for the Tropic Green deck.

Besides the Ace of Spades, which embodies the Art of Play logo in its design, the other face cards are standard.


Like the other members of the NOC family, the idea is to use a simple and relatively plain back design that accentuates and emphasizes the flourishes themselves. NOC is an acronym that stands for "Nothing, Only Colour", thereby creating a design that is the polar opposite of the over-ornamentation present in some customized decks, which assault the viewer with an overdose of colour and detailed design.

Instead, these decks are about keeping things simple, so that all the focus can be on the moves performed by the card flourisher, without distractions from an elaborate design.


Two minimalist Jokers ensure that there is some additional customization, along with two extra cards.

There is one additional secret that this deck holds, which will be familiar to anyone who already knows the NOC decks, namely a subtle marking system which marks the suit (not the value) in a clever and well-disguised manner.


Unlike some of the other NOC decks that were printed by EPCC, these new decks have been printed by USPCC with their thin-crush stock, a popular choice with cardists and magicians alike.



These new designs from Art of Play continue Art of Play's stellar reputation in producing wonderful decks for card magic and card flourishing, as well as novelty designs, with the Optical Illusion deck being an especially fine example of the latter. By collaborating with world class artists and creative thinkers, Dan and Dave Buck continue to ensure that their growing catalogue includes fresh new designs that are the kind of thing that consumers today are looking for.

Not only do these decks feature the best in looks, but as always the creativity of the designs is matched by quality materials and tuck boxes. High quality embossed air-cushioned cards ensure durability as well as smooth handling and consistent performance. The above decks are prime examples of the high quality designs that Art of Play is contributing to the playing card industry.

Whether your interest is in card games, card magic, card flourishing, or even just card collecting, you're almost certain to find some treasures in Art of Play's growing collection, and the decks reviewed here are fine examples of what they offer. If you enjoy quality playing cards, puzzles, or games, then you definitely need to check out whether they can help improve the tools in your hands when you are at play. After all, these guys have turned play into an art!


What to learn more? Check out Art of Play:
- Official website:
- Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest

Direct links for items featured in this review series:
New series: The Harmony Collection (Sea, Land, Air, Space)
Continued series: DKNG Black Wheels, Peau Doux (Silver Edition), NOC Colorgrades (Desert Orange + Tropic Green)
New stand-alone: Illusion d'Optique
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Review: NOC Colorgrades (Art of Play with NOC) (0 Likes)
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