Arcana Tarot Playing Cards

As I mentioned in a previous post, a lot of playing card decks come in pairs, with either a light/dark theme, or more commonly a red/blue variation. It’s a relatively simple way of offering multiple variations (and raising twice as much cash!) without too much effort on the part of the artist. If you collect cards as I do, you hate to only have one of a set!

One of the best light/dark deck combos that I’ve picked up in the last year is from another small card designer, the brilliant Dead On Paper. I’ve recently managed to pick up a deck of their previous design – Midnight Calaveras (the standard Calaveras deck seems sold out everywhere, and rapidly going up in value), and I’m sure they’ll feature on the blog at some point in the future. All the cards are designed by Chris Ovdiyenko.

But the deck I want to focus on here is the brilliant Arcana deck. It’s marked as a set of ‘Tarot’ playing cards, which sounds a little odd. There are Tarot Cards, and there are Playing Cards, but upon examining the tuck case and the artwork on the cards themselves it all becomes clear.

The detail on the tuck boxes is truly brilliant, with raised lettering and a raised & detailed Ouroboros (snake eating it’s own tail). It’s hard to show in these photos quite how brilliant the definition is, but hopefully I’ve been able to capture how great the details are before you’ve even taken the cards out of the box. When you open the box, you also see the foil interior, which is a classy touch. Once the cards come out, you’re able to see quite how brilliant the artwork is. There are customised aces and royalty for all four suits, and an exceptional four jokers, which are Tarot cards. Here are some shots of the light deck:

It’s hard to decide whether I prefer the light or dark decks. The red suits really pop on the dark decks, and they have a brilliant ‘scratched’ appearance. Here are some shots from the dark deck:

Here’s a close-up of the some numbered cards from the dark deck, with the brilliant ‘scratched’ appearance:


The cards, as always when printed by the USPCC have the air-cushioned finish, and slide and shuffle brilliantly.

I can’t speak highly enough of these cards. To me, they are one of the finest examples of the reason you can call decks of playing card ‘art’. The close-up detail of the court cards is fantastic – Chris Ovdiyenko is without doubt a brilliant artist/illustrator and his style suits these cards perfectly.

Alongside the decks of cards, I also managed to pick up a couple of brilliant ‘occult’ style coins as part of the kickstarter, which are available direct from the creator. I’d highly recommend you check those out too as a nice addition to the decks.

If you want to pick up a couple of these decks for yourself, they’re available from a variety of sellers, such as JP Playing Cards (in the UK), or directly from the creators on their website, Dead On Paper.

I’m planning on keeping my eye on these guys on Kickstarter. I can’t wait for their next deck!



~ by richiebabee on January 16, 2016.

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