Tag Archives: playing

Purveyors of carcinogens release addicting playing cards

Here’s a quiz for you: What do these three sets of playing cards have in common?

As much as I detest cigarettes, and the companies that make them, those companies made some killer decks of cards. Each of these sets is a promotional item from well known cigarette brands. Most promotional decks feature simply the brand and logo of a certain smoke; the handling and quality is nothing special. But these three decks stand out for their unique design and superb handling.

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Best of both worlds: Liquid Blue deck a perfect mix of design, quality

One of the most vivid, colorful decks of playing cards ever printed started as simple black-line drawings.

“We knew that if the art held up in just black, then it was great design,” said Paul Roidoulis, CEO and art director of Liquid Blue. “If it needed a color, then that color was probably a crutch. We wanted to make sure that when the color was applied, it would give the illustration even more.”

The company in 1992 produced the Liquid Blue deck, one of the most enigmatic, beautiful decks of cards I’ve ever found. The deck features superb card stock, clever design and bold colors — a combination not often found in playing cards before 2006.

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Ghost deck led to discovering sleight of hand

My playing card collection has plenty of significant, cherished decks because of personal reasons — from the office seat in the new Geek Central, I can easily spy the deck that got me interested in collecting, the deck that got me through a bad year, the deck I used in my first paid magic gig, etc. There’s no better way to start a series of posts about my decks than with the Ghost, for a number of reasons.

The Ghost deck, designed by Ellusionist, is unique for its lack of color. The pips, court cards, aces and everything is black, except for the indices of the red cards. The cards were printed on UV-500 cardstock, which handled so beautifully and really set Ellusionist head and shoulders above the competition, before the U.S. Playing Card Company went all bonkers with its cardstock options. Those were the days.

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Card collection rebuilt slowly but surely

I’ve loved playing cards since I was 3. I had a big sherbet tub filled with five or six loose decks, and I used to play with them for hours. Some of the decks were standard Bicycle Rider backs or Hoyle shell backs. One was a bridge deck with a picture of an old woman wearing purple — I always thought it was a picture of MaMere, an old French lady that lived near us in New Jersey.
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