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CMYK Playing Cards by and for Designers

What happens when graphic designers decide to add a twist to something ordinary? This!

We have all seen traditional playing cards. Although there are variations in the design of the card backs, the artwork for the face cards, the font family and/or size of text, by and large they are what they are.

The Hundred Million group of designers decided that regular playing cards needed something more. More colors. More design. More fun.

Black cards (Credit: Hundred Million)

Black cards (Credit: Hundred Million)

Yellow cards (Credit: Hundred Million)

Yellow cards (Credit: Hundred Million)

Magenta cards (Credit: Hundred Million)

Magenta cards (Credit: Hundred Million)

Cyan cards (Credit: Hundred Million)

Cyan cards (Credit: Hundred Million)

Instead of the usual red (diamonds and hearts) and black (spades and clubs), the CMYK deck uses the four pigments cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Then, each of the numbered cards and the Ace reflect the percentage of pigment (Ace = 10%, 2 = 20%, 3 = 30% … 10 = 100%) and the cards are printed accordingly.

Face cards, Jokers and card back designs (Credit: Hundred Million)

Face cards, Jokers and card back designs (Credit: Hundred Million)

For the face cards (Jack, Queen, King), in order to quickly differentiate them from the 10-card, a diagonal white line is added of varying width (Jack = 0.5 pt, Queen = 1.5 pt, King = 2.5 pt). The Joker is more playful, featuring all four colors and a slightly off kilter orientation on the card face.

Finally, the back of all the cards have all four colors and a variety of crop marks, registration bleeds and other markings that are usually removed from production prints. It is rather appropriate for the “other” side.

All in all, the CMYK playing cards are an unexpected and clever way to breathe new life into traditional playing cards. If you want to get some, there are only a few hours remaining to back the project. I wish I had found out about these sooner, but the concept was too good to pass up for a post.

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