In September 2013 we were happy to receive the third deck by the Uusi Studio. It's always a long wait if you're looking forward to something. Of course we had already seen some of the artwork in progress through the regular Kickstarter updates. It's the way in which Linnea Gits and Peter Dunham finance the decks in their planned series of 6. 

The idea for this deck was to combine the modern Op Art style with the ancient woodblock technique of making playing cards. It brought a deck of which the courts are done in a single color. A blue-green black for the black suits and a warm red for the red ones.

This deck too shows the artistic symbiosis that their cooperation in designing and finishing can bring. Here Linnea did the faces and hands in pencil, while Peter drew the weapons and later he hand-inked their designs, while Linnea cut out the costumes from pre-painted fields on printing paper.

The faces are done in the woodblock style and especially the way in which the eyes are drawn is very convincing. The costumes are obviously Op Art. Only the Kings and Queens wear crowns. In the Spades suit these are formed by very fine geometrical shapes, in the Hearts suit they are a continuation of the Op Art costumes. In the Diamond suit they reflect a simple antique style, not really in sync with the costumes, but rather with the faces.

On the Ace of Spades both styles meet again: a modern suit sign against a woodblock ribbon. Besides the title two tigers are introduced. They must have a specific meaning or reflect a certain idea, as this tiger theme is repeated on the two extra cards


So we find elements of the widely spread Anglo-American pattern in the designs. There's the suicide King (of Hearts) and also the two one-eyed Jacks (Spades and Hearts), as well as the axe of the King of Diamonds.

Besides the artistic value it is important to Linnea and Peter that the courts should remain easily recognizable for players and the deck playable in all kinds of games.




The deck was first published in black, with a black back design and box, in a limited number. These decks all have a special designed seal.

A red edition was published for the backers of the Kickstarter project too, in a limited number with a special seal. It may be available to the market later on, but without the special seal.

Just like in the previous decks they remembered to sign a card for us. This time not our preferred ace of spades, but one of the two jokers. The other joker has a mirrored version of the same design.


Extra cards are usually not the most interesting ones in a deck. So it was an absolutely brilliant idea to create a diptych: a single image on the two extra cards. And the design itself is almost just as brilliant, as it provides -in a playful way- all the information one may expect on a regular extra card: the name of the maker (uusi), their website address (, the title of the deck, the year and the number of the publication and of course "made in the USA".

But here's that tiger again too, looking rather annoyed by the swirling ribbon on which all the info is presented.
Peter explained his presence:
we felt the tiger lent itself well to the Op Art theme with his stripes and also fit in as an exotic animal that were often kept (or symbolic) in royal courts."

This deck and the previous ones can be ordered at and.... in their shop T-shirts with the designs of the diptych or Ace of Spades can be bought too.