Nautical. Sea-life. Design.

54 Individually Designed Playing cards, which were sold at this years Pick me up festival in London, England by Damon Smith. They are all hand drawn in graphite and then digitally enhanced and composed, each one different from the rest. 

There is a different theme for each of 4 suits, Boats, Nautical items, Balloons and Sea-life. The face cars when put together spell out Eleventh Pier as shown in the framed Version of the cards. 

The Cards are all housed in a 'Match Box' Style case. Digitally printed on a uncoated /unlaminated Paper. Available from Damon Smith Design.

So.... your costume is ready and the pumpkins are carved! With Halloween just around the corner, we compiled the best playing cards for the All Hallows' Eve. Behold! The Kardify Top 12: Halloween edition, with enough ghosts, zombies, assassins, imps and killer clowns to keep your spine tingling through the night.

Enjoy the selection below. If you have one that we haven't discovered. Do feel free to share.

12. Black Ghost Second Edition

The second edition of the Black Ghost deck from Ellusionist is an improved version of the popular original edition which was privately circulated for special promotions and given as a gift to professionals such as Banachek, David Blaine, Daniel Garcia and others.

The second edition is proving to be equally as popular and includes a barcode reveal on the box, unique one-of-a-kind jokers, and the United States Playing Card Company's premium air-cushioned finish.

Difficulty: 1
Price: $7.99

11. Bicycle Creepy

Originally funded on Kickstarter, Collectable Playing Cards brings you the Bicycle Creepy Playing Cards. The designer wanted to create beautiful but 12 Creepy monsters and put them on court cards. These cards are carefully designed to incorporate regular courts, aces and card faces with creepy artwork.

Difficulty: 1
Price: $9.95

10. Karnival Assasin

From BigBlindMedia, the popular Karnival Assassins Playing Cards was re-released in a dark, dusky and vibrant green. As with the original Karnival Assassins, this limited edition deck features a new Karnival styled back design, Ace Of Spades, Jokers and Tuckcase.

Difficulty: 2
Price: $12.70

 9. Bicycle Killer Clowns

Another bone chilling custom deck of cards from Collectable Playing Cards. Killer Clowns will be one of the freakiest deck that you will ever own. Each card is bursting with color and detail featuring 12 custom court cards of the most dysfunctional clowns ever seen before dark.

Oh... be sure not to stare too long or you may see them move.

Difficulty: 1
Price: $9.95

8. Brosmind

All faces in this deck of cards are exclusive designs created by the world famous Brosmind art studios based in Barcelona. Directly inspired by street art, all the faces of the cards are very special and unique, with exclusive designs created by Brosmind. Their style is fresh and optimistic and always combines fantasy and humor.

Difficulty: 1
Price: $3.99

7. Bicycle Zombie

The Zombie Deck is a totally unique deck of playing cards, both a traditional deck and a delightfully spooky set of survival tips in case of zombie attacks!

Gone are the usual face cards; the royals and jokers have joined the horde. The Zombie Deck features original artwork on the front and back of the cards, including zombified face cards and jokers.

Difficulty: 1
Price: $3.99

 6. Bicycle Skull & Bone

The historians at the Conjuring Arts Research Centre discovered a single example of this back design that dates back over 100 years. CARC had the artwork redrawn and a limited number of Skull & Bones decks were reprinted in both red and black.

The artwork is beautiful and has a very modern look – made all the better by the knowledge that this is actually a very old back design.

Difficulty: 2
Price: $7.95

5. Bicycle Anne Stokes II Dark Hearts

The fantasy art of Anne Stokes is featured on book covers, board games, and various merchandising—and now, playing cards. Stokes designed each card herself, giving every individual card its own distinctive art. 

This beautifully crafted deck features original artwork on the front and back of each card. These decks were printed in the USA at the United States Playing Card Company and printed on premium stock with a quality finish.

Difficulty: 1
Price: $3.99

4. October

Fulton's October Playing Cards is a frightfully fun and whimsically deck featuring the illustrated artwork of Steven Noble. Packaged inside the box you will find one tricked out deck of playing cards.

Everything from the back design, ace of spades, jokers, and court cards were customized. The deck features a superior dark-charcoal and black box, while also incorporating an asymmetric design that proudly features the back illustration of the cards within.

Difficulty: 2
Price: $9.99

3. Sideshow Freaks

For Halloween, this deck is all about a classic sideshow experience. Bearded lady, contortionists, fire-breather, sword swallower, lobster boy, ring master and monkey can all be found in a tuck that looks like a circus tent. The Sideshow Freaks Deck features original artwork on the front and intricate backs of the cards, including the face cards and joker.

Difficulty: 1
Price: $3.99

2. Whispering Imps Special Edition

Illustrated by Mark Stutzman and inspired by American magician Harry Kellar's 'Whispering Imps' poster from 1894. This Special Edition is a very limited edition deck of Whispering Imps.

The cards are presented in a tuck box crafted from premium Starfire Red Vellum Paper embossed with Red Foil. The intricate card back design of the Whispering Imps is embossed with red foil on the back of the tuck box.

Difficulty: 4
Price: $18

1. Bicycle Tragic Royalty

The Tragic Royalty Deck is designed with bold black and dark-red backs, with whimsical and ghoulish court cards, each with separate impish poses and the Ace of Spades tangled in a fitting spider web.

But that's not all! The biggest surprise... these gothic deck of cards glow in the dark when used under a black light. Imagine how cool your Halloween game night could be with these playing cards!

Difficulty: 1
Price: $3.99

Coming to the Conjuring Arts Research Center from Expert Playing Card Company, the new "Classic Twins"

Expert Playing Cards mantra has been to innovate, always innovate. And even while innovating they always keep the working sleight of hand performer in mind and proudly introduce some revolutionary new playing card features with a series built for performance, the "Classic Series".

About a year ago Lawrence Sullivan at Legends Playing Card Co. discovered an interesting new playing card stock. After extensive testing he christened it the "Classic Finish". The new Classic Finish has a different embossing pattern and feel than the Master Finish, and many will find it to be more like standard American made cards. The cards are a bit thicker (only a tiny bit) and a little more flexible than the stock used for EPCC's Master Finish. It is of the same equally high quality as the Master Finish but still somewhat different in feel and performance. As important as the handling and feel are, it was critical to EPCC to also be able to cut these cards with the precision and perfection that are now expected from the Expert Playing Card Co. The new "Classic"decks made from the new stock share the excellent edges that the Master Finish has always had.

EPCC introduces the Classic Finish with a 3 deck series fittingly called "The Classic Series". It includes Classic Twins, Classic Black and later Classic Gold.

The Classic Twins are also an introduction to an EPCC exclusive two deck twin box. This convenient tuck box made of fine stock (embossed and printed using UV spot coating for exceptional detail) holds two poker packs and still maintains the proportions of a single deck tuck. These two decks feature a beautiful back design (one red deck and one blue) and the new Expert Classic Faces. EPCC have had these retro-style faces drawn by hand and they resemble the faces used on many standard decks today but have their own Art Nouveau style. Magicians using these cards don't need to fear that their audiences will think them suspicious but they are different enough from standard to be extremely appealing.

The Classic Black deck is a limited edition featuring the same back design as the Classic Twins but printed in black ink. The faces are also the same as the Classic Twins. The tuck is another EPCC innovation. After years of development and experimentation they are introducing a new synthetic tuck material! This is a paper that is made synthetically and is waterproof and extremely durable. It will hold up much longer than a paper stock and allow the working professional true protection for his pack. For the Classic Black deck they have taken the stock which is a naturally a milky white and printed it completely black inside and out. All the text and image on the box is also done in black but raised from the surface of the box by using spot UV coating. This is an amazing tuck for an amazing deck.

So know that you've gotten to know the "Classic" line up, what will be available and when?

The release will be Wednesday October 29th at 1PM EDT and for 48 hours ONLY, you will be able to purchase the Classic Twins along with 1 (One) Classic Black deck in one great package, at an amazing price. The official price for the Classic Twins is $9.99.... but for the first 48 hours you can get a brick of them (in a newly designed brick box containing 6 Twin Pack), along with a FREE Classic Black deck for $54.99 which includes FREE shipping anywhere in the U.S. (There will also be discounted shipping for International buyers).

So mark your calenders and take advantage of the huge savings!

Designed by Blake Brenneman and Michael Messer, Revelation is an extraordinary deck of playing cards inspired by medieval cathedrals and their gothic style. This meticulously hand-illustrated deck features gothic details, symbolic carvings and stained glass ornamentations from the stunning Nidaros cathedral in Norway.

A fully customised deck of cards, the Revelation tuck box, jokers, Ace of Spades and the eye-catching backs features artwork inspired by the beautiful stained glass of the cathedral while the illustrated skeleton courts pays homage to the silent skeletons of Norwegian royalty still resting in Nidaros’ catacombs. A strangely beautiful, simple and visually stunning theme.

We caught up with Blake for a quick chat about his design background, the inspiration & design process behind Revelation and Deckstarter.

Can you tell us about yourself and what is your design background?
I’ve been involved in the world of magic for many years with a special interest in gambling sleights and casino protection. The beauty of magic, for me at least, is the psychology behind it; the truest version of magic happens with the most normal of objects, with sheer perception being the thing manipulated most of all. This fascination with psychology kind of plays into my interests in college; I’m currently wavering between a psychology degree and one in business and history.

As far as my design background is concerned, things are actually kind of ironic. My design background is almost nonexistent. That being said, my three biggest loves in life (other than my fiancé, of course) are theology, psychology, and fine art, and it is at the nexus of these three concepts that I derived inspiration for Revelation.

Revelation will be your first playing card deck. How did you and D&D end up collaborating together for Deckstarter?
My big design team consists of Michael Messer and myself. When we started this project we new that, since this is our flagship project, we wanted to go the crowd funding route, both for financial and marketing reasons. As a long time fan of Dan & Dave playing cards, I knew that the durability and artisan nature of our cards would have a wide-enough appeal with niche interest to be successful on a platform like Deckstarter. After we’d solidified the design concept, we inquired into Deckstarter, and now we’re here.

What is your inspiration behind the Revelation deck? How did you come up with the idea?
I’ve always wanted a stained glass themed deck of cards, as there really aren’t any on the market that I’m aware of. Michael has a unique style of drawing that revolves around a deft hand with a ink pen, rather than charcoal or graphite or paint. As we spoke about possibilities for this first deck, I suggested something with stained glass, and with Michael’s help, that idea ended up in the realms of Gothic art and architecture. As we moved through that concept, one of the inspirations that really stuck with us was the Nidaros cathedral in Norway (which unbeknownst to me, Dan & Dave had also explored in Papercuts).

Talk to us a bit about going from the first draft to the final version. How many iterations were there? How did you get feedback?
We birthed the deck onto the paper and saw it and said it was good. Actually, Michael and I fed off of each other for most of the design. I had an expertise in playing cards and their irregularities as a canvas, and Michael—who is one of the brightest artists I’ve ever met—truly understands his art form. So we would pitch ideas back and forth to each other and whittle them down and Michael would sketch ideas. Once we’d finished the back, the ace of spades, and the joker designs, I sent out those concept sketches to some of my card designer friends who had launched through other platforms for feedback.

Of course, while the back design and ace of spade were very straightforward for us (it transitioned quickly from Starbucks doodle to finished digital piece), the face cards went through several radical changes. We had a completely different set of face cards finished, discarded them, and ended up with the skeletons that you now see. The joker, without a doubt, was our most difficult design. Unlike any other playing card, the Joker is the blankest canvas with infinite possibility, so it went through the most changes.

What was your most brilliant breakthrough when designing the deck?
Without a doubt our biggest breakthrough was the realization of the minimalist color palette. Originally we wanted to have very open, very colorful stained glass backs, but every draft just seemed cluttered, busy, and managed to obscure Michael’s careful line art. Once we discovered the beauty of the black, white, and red colors it brought out all of the shadows of Gothic art drawn within the finesse of the intricate back designs.

From the project page, what are a few of your favorite reward levels and why?
I have two favorites. The first one is definitely the uncut sheet of cards because I’m a huge sucker for those. At the moment I have nine of them framed and hanging in my apartment. I love the fact that we are able to make Revelation’s uncut sheets so affordable to our backers and that we are able to include a deck of cards along with it.

My second favorite would be the t-shirts available to our backers, which highlight our unique box design. On the front you have the iconic skull that underscores our most prominent motif for Revelation, and on the back you have the subtle accent line running around the entirety of the box.

Finally, what are some of your favorite decks or designers?
Some of my favorite decks of cards have to be Ace Fulton’s, Clip Joints, and Vintage Plaids. Interestingly enough all three of those are Dan & Dave cards; not only are they well-designed, but they handle magnificently. Ace Fulton’s are perfect for close-up magic, Vintage Plaids have the best sort of color illusion on the back, and the simplicity of Clip Joints coupled with their elegant feel make each deck memorable.

Jackson Robinson’s Federal 52 series are amazing as well; his attention to detail turns every card into an individual work of art. Paul Carpenter’s Tendril series of cards show a fantastic balance of color contrast and design. Other cards I love include Ace Fulton’s Chinatown, green Artifice cards, Vintage Pierres and the Urban Punk deck.

Thank you for your time, Blake. If you like what you’ve read here and want to support the Revelation Deck, you can find it on Deckstarter here.

Pledge starts from $8 and Revelation will be printed by the EPCC. Also, add-ons such as uncut sheet and t-shirt are available. The tuck box will be specially foiled and embossed when the campaign reaches it's stretched goal of 125%.

When I started collecting, and I'm not talking about just playing cards, I mean collecting in general, I always wanted to catalog what I had. The more detailed the better, I'm not sure why, I think it's just the type of person/collector I am. I like glancing over images and updating details to items I still have questions on, it's fun and part of the process in my opinion. I don't think I'm too far off base because as I see new collectors join the community by joining a forum or Facebook group, the question seems to eventually come up...."How do you keep track of your collection?"

Of course we aren't all like that, some of us don't care about keeping records of our collection, some of us do, but can't come up with more than a list in a binder. Yes you can make a fancy Excel spreadsheet, but even that can remain pretty basic unless you know how to use some of the Excel functions. There are also some collecting programs out there that can be "Adapted" to work with playing cards, but for the most part they cost something.

So not too long ago Rhuaridh Clark, a website developer by day and card collector by night, started building a Data Base for himself to catalog and organize his collection. The "Idea" kind of morphed and grew through sharing it with some friends and became the Playing Card Data Base (PCDB). The PCDB has been growing quite well, it is a project driven by collectors and completely free and simple to use.

It's quite the complete system for an individual without the time or, i mean no disrespect by this, or talent to build a "Catalog" of there own. The data base is stored in a "List" form, meaning a list of items available in the data base, as well as in "Scan" form, which is a scan of the Tuck box of any given deck.

When you 1st sign up, you will have your own "Page" where any decks you select to "Add" to your account will be displayed. The nice feature in my opinion is that each item added has a few "Collecting" bullet points that can help you. Things like, "Owned" indicating the quantity of a given item in your collection is pretty nice, but the addition of a "Wish List" function as well as a "Trade" list gives the PCDB and its users an invaluable tool for building their collection.

I had a chance to pick Rhu's brain a bit about how this went from a personal tool to a full scale user powered cataloging system and here's some of the things we talked about.

How did the PCDB come to be?

I originally set the website up just so I had somewhere to organise my own collection, I posted about this on the unitedcardists forums in September 2013.

After I showed everyone my own collection, I had a few requests to extend the site to support other peoples collections. After a few months I put the needed features in place, and now I spend any scraps of free time I can find to build new features to help people share their collections online.

Since then the project has had a huge level of support from everyone on the UC forums. The main driving force behind the website has to be ecNate though, he is always quick to give me a friendly nudge when the development on the site is getting a little too slow!

What are some of the goals of the PCDB?

If I'm being honest I couldn't say what the goals of the PCDB are. While I'm currently responsible for building the website I feel like I gave up control of the website a long time ago, this is very much a community driven project, and I always listen to them for new features, even if it does take me a little time to implement them!

The one goal I am certain of is that we're all working towards categorising all of the decks we own, which is definitely not a small task.

My only conditions are that the PCDB is not for profit, purely for fun and will always have any data collected openly and freely available to everyone.

Of course, that hasn't stopped me introducing an optional paid membership feature, where 100% of any donation will go directly to a charity through justgiving. We're currently supporting Oxfam, and I hope this will be a successful feature going forward so we can support a new charity every year.

Since the PCDB went public so to speak, how many images, scans, information and time has gone into it?

We recently celebrated the first birthday of the site by rather embarrassingly forgetting to pay for the domain renewal! During that time though we have had an explosion of content for the website, at the time of writing this we have over 1300 unique decks listed, over 1100 of these decks have had the front of their tuck cases scanned and we have had a total of 2753 images uploaded.

It's definitely come a long way from when I first uploaded my small collection of less than 150 decks, my main challenge just now is updating the website categorisation to accommodate this influx of playing cards! Every day I see new decks that I had never even hear of before, but luckily the community is already working with me to help come up with the most efficient way to restructure the site.

I want to thank Rhu for his time and effort with the Playing Card Data Base, if your looking for a simple yet "Complete" solution to keeping track of your collection, its growth and "Needs" I couldn't recommend the PCDB any more if I tried. It's simple and most of all, completely free. The PCDB is always looking for "Contributors" so if you looking to help, give Rhu a shout via the PCDB site. 

Now go build your personal Playing Card Data Base!!

Beautiful. Baroque. Elegance.

The Limited Obsidian Edition decks are part of the successful White Ornate series. Meticulously designed by Randy Butterfield, these beautiful decks exudes elegance which will elevate the impact of any magic or flourish routine, or add a high roller feel to your poker table.

The Obsidian tuck box is truly mesmerising, crafted from a deep matte black vellum paper. The design has been carefully stamped in Black and Gold foil, giving the box a shimmer and shine. The inside of the tuck is coated in a solid wall of gold foil. 

Here's your chance to WIN a complete set of the White Ornate's! But not just any set, but a complete set of SIGNED White Ornate's... by none other than Randy Butterfield! The set will included one of each un-branded decks in Scarlet, Sapphire, Amethyst, and Emerald. Along with one of each Obsidian versions, Bicycle Branded and Un-Branded, all signed in metallic gold ink, all brought to you from Randy and House of Playing Cards! Also, check out Randy's first solo playing cards project Draconian, which is now available on Kickstarter

The Obsidian decks are available in the standard limited Unbranded version, as well as an even more limited Bicycle version. Available from JP Playing Cards.

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