When we think of playing cards, we picture them to be rectangular and about 6 by 9 cm in size. And this is probably the right assumption for 99.99 % of the published decks. In this XPO we'll show you some of the decks that are part of the 0.01 % that doesn't fit the description. We'll discard the rectangular shaped decks, that have deviant sizes, or even the round decks and just amaze you with some of the odd shaped decks that we have in our collection.

It is not a recent phenomenon  to produce odd shaped decks, but our present printing technique makes this much easier than in the old days. Still, oval and round decks were already made in the 19th century. I doubt that ergonomic reasons had anything to do with these publications and regard them as "novelty" decks. It's hard to play with these cards and they were probably more collectors items than used in practice. This principle is still valid. We have tried to hold, play and shuffle  these odd shaped decks and all -even the only "ergonomic designed" deck- failed one or more parts of the test.

This early oval deck was published by Twietmeyer from Leipzig, Germany, 1885. The deck was designed by Fedor Flinze and printed by Friedrich GŁnthel.

Well, now that we have -from a historic perspective- started with this kind of shape, here are some other "angle-less" shapes from the 20th and 21th century.

This oval deck was published by the Dutch KPN, a main telecommunication company as a special gift for business relations.
The deck was designed by Francois Gervais and printed by Plantijn from Capelle a/d IJssel in October 1993.
The deck comes as a double deck in a special designed box, that was made separately in Amsterdam.
There's oval and "egg-round". 


This egg-shaped deck was designed by French artist Rodolfo Krasno and published by Philippe Tailleur from Paris, in 1981.




This "dish-round" card is a sample of an edition of two decks with a total of 112 different dishes/ cards by AAA playing cards from China. A limited number of 1500 decks per edition was made around 2002.

The "cat-shaped" deck was also made in China, just like the "heart-shaped" deck, around 2002.

Except for the first two decks, for all other decks can be said, that the shape emphasizes the topic of the deck. In other words: the topic sets the shape. This is often the case and on the next pages we will show some more of these "functional" shaped decks..........

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this xpo was last updated on 1/7/2006