The following LINKS will, we hope, be useful. We have tried to omit sites that include irritating 'pop ups' and tinkly music, sites that are irritatingly slow to open or respond, and those that are frankly peddling loopy stuff to do with fortune telling or the wilder shores of astrology.
The site of the London-based graphic design company, Haime & Butler, who design the majority of our playing card packs. They specialise in brand identity, corporate communications, marketing and sales collateral, website design and direct marketing, across a wide range of industry sectors.
The site of The International Playing Card Society. Serious but accessible information about the history of playing cards and card playing. Very useful FAQs section.
The English Playing Card Society was founded in 1984, on a non profit-making basis, by Peter Way and Major R.T. 'Donald' Welsh. This is their official, and very informative site, as a glance at a list of articles will confirm, articles on - Royal Finery on Playing Cards, Titanic Playing Cards, English Standard Card Manufacturers, Abolition of Duty on Playing Cards, Fakes and Forgeries...
Piatnik are justly world-famous as manufacturers and publishers of fine playing cards (as well as games). Still a family firm in Vienna, they make and distribute our own Bird Playing Cards. An excellent site, presented with wit and style. The motto on their site is - 'People who don't play, take themselves much too seriously.' Piatnik do not take themselves seriously, but are serious publishers of playing cards, both populist and esoteric in content, from A (Art) to Z (Zodiac).
Wikipedia's lengthy and comprehensive article by an anonymous expert on playing cards and their history. Particularly good on early history, the myths of symbolism in playing card design and international playing cards today.
The World of Playing Cards site, run by Simon Wintle (who, incidently, designed the EPCS logo). Much useful information and links to the English Playing Card Society and good historical background; plus articles on the origin of the joker, Waddington's, De La Rue, woodblocks...and a commercial section where collectors can buy rare or unusual packs.
Robert Somerville had a shop in Edinburgh for 18 years, specialising in the sale of collectable playing cards. In 2000 Mr. Somerville shut the shop to concentrate on mail order (which he'd been doing for 5 years). He claims rightly that: 'We are probably the world's most comprehensive dealers in modern playing cards and Tarot cards with a range of around 2,500 different packs'.
The United States Playing Card Company is the market leader in the US. They manufacture some classic and familiar packs as well as licensed packs from Coca Cola etc. Also sell poker chips.
US Games Systems Inc. are specialists in tarot and 'motivational cards'. This is a commercial site selling an extensive range.
Run by D.J. McAdam, this is a site selling a surprisingly divers range of international cards, art, advertising, ethnic, military...
The English Heritage Playing Card Co. will be familiar to many. Specialises in 'heritage' subjects like their well known pack on Great War posters.
The House of Cards call themselves 'the best in card games and playing card information' and they certainly can boast a large catalogue of internationally published themed playing cards, and a good series of background articles on card history.
The Chicago Playing Card Collectors, Inc. is a club devoted to 'sharing the hobby' of collecting playing cards, serving 'more than 300 actively networking members in 38 U.S. states, and 10 other countries around the world'. Serious stuff.
A site called The Origins of Playing Cards, offering a concise history, and 'an on-line tutorial covering the early history of playing-cards', examining where cards came from, how suits systems evolved, what early European cards looked like, the Renaissance influence, standard national patterns...among other topics.
A niche market, The Parnell Playing Card Co. specialises in faro playing cards and western themed packs with classic faces.
A serious site with a useful catalogue of classic packs that do not date, as well as interestingly illustrated packs - their mission is dedication 'exclusively to the subject of playing help promote the interest for playing cards and card games around the world and to be available as a reference site for researchers seeking accurate information on the subject.'
The French Society of Card and Tarot Collectors site - an energetic society and an informative site. In French only.
The French Museum of Playing Cards site - soon to have an English version. The site merely promotes the Museum, with information about opening times etc. but we include it because the Museum - the only card museum in France - is well worth a visit: at 16, rue Auguste Gervais, 92 130 Issy-les-Moulineaux, outside Paris (Metro: Mairie d'Issy - ligne12).
Yasha Beresiner, collector, bon vivant, parachutist, card historian, a well-known figure in the playing card world and this is the site of his online catalogue of collectable cards (plus other artefacts) - some rare, some published by himself - on view in his bijou North London shop.
The site of the excellent German Museum of Playing Cards, Stuttgart. Mostly concentrating on German and Austrian packs.
Probably the largest playing card dealers on the Internet, specialising in rare and antique packs (and games).