Paula Scher Designs Playing Cards

Paula Scher Designs Playing Cards


November 18th, 2022 (NY, NY)— Art of Play, the online wonder emporium known for its eccentric catalog of collectible playing cards, games, puzzles, toys, and home amusements, has teamed up with Pentagram, the largest independently owned design studio renowned for its work in graphic design and corporate identity. Together, the two companies will produce a new series of luxury playing cards to be used for card games, cardistry, and magic. Just Type Playing Cards, Edition 1 and 2 are now available in our Shop.

Just Type is a reinterpretation of classic playing card design and a tribute to the many ways that letterforms can be used to communicate. Paula Scher, a titan of the graphic design world, has helped to redefine modern typography. Working with fellow Pentagram designers Jeff Close and Kristin Huber, Scher has playfully deconstructed the classic french design of traditional “poker cards” and removed all extraneous elements. All that’s left is Just Type.

Just Type Playing Cards, Edition 1

Edition 1 embraces big, bold postmodern elements. Oversized numbers constructed of simple shapes fill the entirety of each card. While each composition could stand on its own as a piece of art, taken together, this collection of 56 images represents a totally unique approach to a familiar form factor. Each number and letter is pushed to the breaking point, shattered into elemental pieces that evoke abstraction, yet communicate so clearly, they can be read from across the room.

Just Type Playing Cards, Edition 2

Edition 2 offers a minimalist approach in the spirit of classic mid-century design. Each card features an amalgamation of suit and value that expresses its identity with a single figure. An extraordinarily clever visual system makes use of negative space to incorporate the traditional pips (clubs, hearts, spades, and diamonds) into custom-drawn letterforms. The result is both beautiful and humorous. 

Together, these exceedingly adaptive versatile explorations of type prove once again that Scher is a master of pushing words beyond their literal meaning into the realm of purely visual expression. Or, as she more succinctly puts it, “Typography is painting with words.” With these Just Type Playing Cards, Paula Scher demonstrates, once again, why she is one of the most influential and respected graphic designers in the world.


Pentagram is a multi-disciplinary, independently owned design studio. Their work encompasses graphics and identity, strategy and positioning, products and packaging, exhibitions and installations, websites and digital experiences, advertising and communications, data visualizations and typefaces, sound, and motion. All 22 partners are practicing designers, and whether working collaboratively or independently, they do so in friendship.

Pentagram’s structure is unique. They are the only major design studio where the owners of the business are the creators of the work and serve as the primary contact for every client. This reflects their conviction that great design cannot happen without passion, intelligence and—above all—personal commitment, and is demonstrated by a portfolio that spans five decades, many industries, and clients of every size.

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