When playing cards first appeared in Europe in the 14th and 15th century, before the invention of printing, they were handmade and hand painted by regional artists, often miniature painters. So there's a long history in the cooperation between card makers and artists.
Although their role has been overtaken for a long time by artisans and engravers, one can say that they fully returned to the stage in the middle of the 20th century. After the post-war recession had passed, they have been invited by card makers and publishers to design special -non-standard- decks and those artists, who were not asked or didn't seek professional  quality, have found ways to publish their own decks, sometimes in numbered and very limited or low cost editions.

We have made a first selection of 5, that aims to show decks from this variety in artists and editions.
"The Archives" now hosts 26 previous expo's.
There will be regular changes in our selection and additions, so..........


Peter Dunham and Linnea Gits are a couple and both are graphic artists too. They have set out to design a series of 6 decks. The Blue Blood deck was their 1st, Bohemia their 2nd, Royal Optik the 3rd, Pagan the 4th and  Hotcakes was their 5th. Now they have finished their last deck in this series: Classic. The Blue Blood Redux deck (1bis) has been added too.
Besides this series the Uusi Studio has completed an advertising deck for the HYDE PARK MOULDINGS Inc. To see it click HERE


A handmade deck on wallpaper, with watercolours on the courts and aces, but the artist only left his initials. In short, an intriguing deck and of course a one-of-a-kind too!



Dominic Murphy is a British artist from Hertfordshire with a catching style. In this "Surreal" deck he shows us his interior madness as an artist, composed as a self portrait in 54 episodes.








American artist Emmanuel JosÚ lets his scissors speak in an unusual transformation-like deck. The "Curator" is his first deck and others are in the make. Fine, imaginative designs in an unusual technique: papercutting!

The "cupboard-bed" cards are a pure Dutch product. Dutch Artist Maaike Vonk wanted to create a classic looking deck and fully succeeded. A Dutch printer did the rest.

last section update: 1/12/2016