Category: Affirmation Cards

DIFFERENT USES FOR PLAYING CARDS IN PREVIOUS CENTURIES- PART II

DIFFERENT USES FOR PLAYING CARDS IN PREVIOUS CENTURIES- PART II

This article is the next installment of a two-part series about how playing cards were used in different ways in previous centuries. Before our modern deck obtained its traditional look, playing card decks were often highly customized, and used for a variety of different purposes. The previous article covered how playing cards were used in more typical ways: for playing card games, for art, and for education. But the past has also witnessed playing cards being commonly used for other purposes, like the ones described here.

For Fortune Telling

Fortune telling, or cartomancy, has a long history and association with playing cards. While a traditional deck is rarely used for fortune telling today, the connection between playing cards and cartomancy continues, even though playing cards were used for playing games long before they were ever used for fortune telling. Especially in some cultures, there continues to be a close relationship between cards and fortune telling, which is why in the popular mind gypsies are associated with fortune telling cards.

Despite what some people think, the origin of our modern deck does not lie in the fortune telling Tarot deck. Tarot cards appear to have been a separate and later development from a standard deck of playing cards, and rather than pre-date the traditional deck, the 78 card Tarot deck actually came a century or two later. In fact, historical evidence suggests that the additional 22 cards common to a Tarot deck originated as trump cards for more advanced games, and at some point the addition of these cards to a standard deck led to a larger Tarot deck. This was first used for more complex trick-taking games, but later began to develop a life of its own in the hands of cartomancers and occultists.

The rise of divination eventually did see the use of playing cards for fortune telling and cartomancy, and the earliest known fortune-telling deck is by John Lenthall and dates from around the late 1600s. While the legitimacy of fortune telling will be dismissed by most modern secularists today, it cannot denied that it has made an important contribution to the history of playing cards and also had an impact on its artwork. This is particularly the case with the larger Tarot deck, which soon became a tool of choice for cartomancers, and is still commonly used as such today. Many Tarot decks were created with all the cards having colourful images that depicted all manner of disasters or good fortune. Many different Tarot decks exist, and these often feature wonderful artwork, and continue to be popular with collectors worldwide.

For Magic

As we’ve seen already, playing cards were first used only by the aristocracy that could afford them, and it was only with the arrival of mass production that playing cards found themselves in the hands of the general public. Along with this welcome development came a less welcome one: gambling. Gambling soon became a real problem, especially because this is what the lower class chiefly engaged in when playing card games. It’s for this reason that the church frequently and strongly denounced card playing. And along with gambling came another dark activity: cheating.

But what about if cheating techniques are used to create illusions which are designed purely to amuse and entertain? That’s effectively what magic is all about, and so playing cards became an obvious tool for magicians to use, using similar techniques used by crooked gamblers. Magic as a performing art has a much longer history, of course, and sleight of hand existed long before playing cards, whether it was intended to cheat or to entertain. But playing cards did lend themselves very naturally to magicians looking for ways to create illusions, especially because they were a familiar item for the masses who used them for playing card games.

18th century Italian magician Giovanni Giuseppe Pinetti is often credited as being a pioneer that paved the way for playing card magic. His charismatic popularity made him a popular entertainer, and he was one of the very first to include card tricks in his official theater performances, and he even entertained royalty. Prior to this, the only place you could expect to see card magic was on the streets or in private rooms, and it didn’t have any real respect or credibility. Many famous magicians followed in Pinetti’s footsteps, such as the 19th century icons Robert-Houdin and Hofzinser, the latter being considered by some to be a father of card magic. From this time onwards, magicians began to include card tricks in their repertoire more and more, and card magic became a growing art form. Names like Dai Vernon, Charles Bertram, and Erdnase, are well known to magicians today, but these magicians played an important role in popularizing and shaping card magic as we know it.

Today we are building on the work of these pioneers, and magic with playing cards is often one of the places that beginners now start their journey in magic. Almost everyone has a deck of cards and is familiar with them, so they are an ideal starting point, requiring no real investment. Magicians tend to use cards extensively for practicing and performing, and the production of playing cards for working magicians represents one of the biggest shares of the playing card market in our modern era.

For Souvenirs

Playing cards have long served as an ideal souvenir, particularly when each individual card is used for a different picture. This turns a deck of cards into a mini photo album of 50+ individual works, making it perfect for depicting places or events. Souvenir decks started emerging in the 1890s, coinciding with the growing popularity of photography, which was at that time a very expensive undertaking. In contrast, a deck of souvenir playing cards allowed you to own a mini photo album of an exotic place or country you visited at a relatively low cost.

Special events have long provided a rich source of material for playing card artwork as well. Notable events such as various wars led to the production of commemorative decks of playing cards, to serve as memorials of the Napoleonic Wars, American Civil War, and many others. Royal occasions and other special state events have been commemorated in a similar fashion. Royal coronations and weddings have often featured on playing cards; so too anniversary celebrations of important discoveries or conquests.

Current events have also been a catalyst for new decks of playing cards, the First World War being a prime example. Some of these decks were used for the purposes of propaganda, with decks in Germany printing court cards that gave places of honour to the Kaiser and other leaders, while war scenes were depicted on other cards. Meanwhile playing cards reflecting Allied sentiments were produced in the United States, some featuring court cards depicting generals, officers, and other ranks. During the Second World War, a pro Allied deck produced by Van Mierle Proost included Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, and de Gaulle as Kings, while the Aces had outlines of Big Ben, the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, and the Kremlin.

But souvenir decks aren’t limited to events, with many decks created that depict colourful images of towns, countries, and cultures, geared to serve the tourist industry in particular. This, too, doesn’t exhaust the potential, since playing cards can depict almost any hobby or interest under the sun, and so we have seen the production of playing cards with images of anything from house-cats to antique furniture. Decks have been created to commemorate all kinds of unique interests, from ancient mythology to modern bull-fighting. A good example of this is a deck that was produced to honour the medical profession, featuring doctors, nurses, chemists, and research workers in hospital gowns, along with the expected equipment of stethoscopes and medicines.

The scope of souvenir and hobby decks is limited only by the imagination of the creators. Today’s custom playing card industry continues to benefit from this, and decks that celebrate popular films, celebrities, or sports, have a ready market. And virtually anywhere you travel, you’re bound to find a deck of cards with pictures that you can take home as a souvenir of the place you’ve visited.

Other Uses

This list by no means exhausts the many ways that playing cards have been used. For example, an important secondary usage of playing cards in previous centuries was as a source of writing paper. Early playing cards didn’t have artwork on the card backs, and were simply blank on the reverse side. Given that paper was often expensive to produce, this made a deck of playing cards a valuable source of paper. Individual cards became a very handy resource, and could be used for writing notes or lists, and were even used more formally as invitations, calling cards, coupons, or as a record of financial transactions, debts, or currency.

Playing cards no longer have blank card backs, so that particular secondary use has all but vanished. But today we are seeing new uses for playing cards emerge, the most notable one being for card flourishing. Cardistry is a thriving industry, and since cardists tend to wear out their decks even faster than magicians, and because of the importance of visual aesthetics, there’s a growing demand for colourful and creative designs.

The Standard Deck Today

Our historical overview demonstrates that playing cards have been used for a variety of uses across the ages besides playing cards, and so it comes as no surprise that in the past there has never really been a “standard” deck as we often imagine it today. Customized decks have existed for centuries, and there are many fine examples of playing cards created especially for the purpose or art or education. This means that the typical Bicycle style card deck as we usually think of it is in reality by no means “standard”.

Even today there’s actually a great variety of different types of decks used around the world, not just in terms of style, but also in size. Most of these are localized in their usage, but you will find places where 32 card decks are very common, or 48 card decks, and even 100+ card decks. In many cases, the size of the deck is closely connected with games that are popular in a specific region, and these games can’t even be played with a deck of a different size.

And not only is the size of a deck non-standard, but so is the artwork. Given the multiple uses for playing cards across the centuries, it was inevitable that there would be a diversity of artwork and styles. In that respect the modern custom playing card industry is hardly new, and customized playing cards have existed for centuries.

Yet despite all this rich variation throughout the history of playing cards, there does remain a commonly accepted “standard” for playing cards today. This standard is primarily based on the French suits that swept Europe and spread across the globe in previous centuries. Today’s court cards largely go back to printer Thomas de la Rue of London. Mr de la Rue was granted a patent for printing playing cards by letterpress and lithography in 1832, and subsequently took control of the playing card market due to his enormous success. With prices and taxes dropping, his production and sales increased significantly. Smaller designers that produced custom decks simply could not compete with him, and slowly disappeared, leaving de la Rue with a monopoly.

For better or for worse, it was the fact that de la Rue effectively cornered the market that led to cards becoming more or less standardized. In his book Playing Cards, Roger Tilley gives this very unflattering assessment of this development: “To add insult to injury, the very expressions of the cardboard court have been crystallized in commercialism. The kings’ looks have become those of company directors, strained and indicative of ulcers, while the queens and knaves have taken on the air of the attendant secretaries: the personal are pawky, and the company ones circumspect … Thomas de la Rue was without doubt a very great printer; yet that very genius proved calamitous to this small branch of the graphic arts … it might be said of Thomas de la Rue that he found a small quantity of marble and left a great quantity of brick.

Certainly there have been attempts from time to time to create new designs that break with tradition, by designing and producing playing cards that are more easily recognized or with fresh or more contemporary patterns. But these have always failed to receive any serious degree of general acceptance. Of interest is the fact that the De La Rue Company itself promoted a competition in 1957 for new playing card imagery for the court cards to help celebrate the company’s 125th anniversary. But while the prize winning efforts of Jean Picart le Doux were beautiful, they were a commercial failure.

So it could be argued that the history of playing cards has become somewhat stale in the last era, since there have been no significant alterations to the “standard deck” of playing cards for a long time. The dominance of the USPCC has also led to the Bicycle rider-back design becoming somewhat iconic, and its success has also stifled other designs somewhat. Perhaps that is changing given the enormous success of the custom playing card industry, and the gradual acceptance of custom playing cards in the world of professional magic. But for now, at any rate, it seems that custom playing cards will continue to remain somewhat of a novelty rather than becoming a new standard. Even cardistry demands and encourages constant novelties, rather than the adoption of a new accepted standard.

A Lesson from the Past about the Present

We are fortunate to live in a new era of history, which has witnessed the explosion of custom playing cards, and also a growing acceptance of these by the general public. It remains to be seen what future generations will consider to be our contribution to the ongoing history of playing cards. I believe that the increasingly high standards of modern printing techniques, and the ability of the internet to connect creators and consumers, means that we are living in a time that is unprecedented. Highly imaginative and attractive playing cards are being produced, the likes of which have never been seen before. Perhaps today’s biggest contribution to the history of playing cards lies in new abilities to produce high quality decks, and to connect creators with backers and buyers, while ensuring that the entire enterprise remains affordable. The result is a marketplace flooded with new and exciting designs. Not only are we witnessing some very imaginative designs, but we are seeing incredible innovation in the area of tuck box designs, with the use of unprecedented techniques that allow boxes to be created with embossing, metallic foil and inks. The final product of the custom decks we can buy today is often a real work of art, and no wonder collectors love them.

Perhaps for now the lesson of history is this: to consider ourselves privileged for the luxuries we enjoy today. The future will undoubtedly look kindly on what our era has been producing. May we have a real eye of appreciation for the rich heritage that has produced this wealth, and respectfully tip our hat to those who have gone before us, and to the designers, printers, and middle men that help get these works of art into our hands and onto our game tables today.

About the writer: EndersGame is a well-known reviewer of board games and playing cards. He loves card games, card magic, and collecting playing cards. 

SUSTAINABLE SUMMER DECKS WITH SHUFFLED INK

Sustainable Summer Decks

#SISustainableSummer

Join the stride toward eco-friendly solutions with #SISustainableSummer. Starting this month and through the week of Aug. 29, we are recognizing Shuffled Ink clients who choose eco-friendly materials for their card products.

Sustainable Summer Clients

June 2021 Feature

Card Project: Your Girlfriend’s No BS Love Oracle

“We chose the 100% post-consumer box because incorporating sustainable materials in our product packaging was important to us, and especially in what we offer to our customer base. An incredible amount of resources go into packaging daily around the world; we wanted to reduce our impact as much as possible in material choices for our products” — Meo & Shannon

Eco Tuck Box

100% Post-Consumer Recycled Fibers White Tuck Box

About

Printed on high-quality paper to produce beautifully sound colors, this 65-card deck is compact with pure vibrant energy. Designed as a love oracle deck, each card carries divine and raw insight, getting straight to the point about love and romantic soulmate inquiries. This deck can be used as a stand-alone oracle or paired nicely as a clarifier deck with other tarot or oracle decks.

July 2021 Features

Card Project: Cryptids of North America Playing Cards

“Every choice that we make, big or small, is impactful. Choosing @shuffledink to produce my playing cards was already a more environmentally responsible choice. And taking the next step to implement a 100% post-consumer box to hold my cards together was an even easier decision that resulted in a beautifully finished product.” –Shaun Wegscheid

Eco Tuck Box

100% Post-Consumer Recycled Fibers White Tuck Box

About

The majority of components for this project utilize greener alternatives. The entire card box and nearly all packaging material are made from recycled material and/or compostable.

This set includes 6 North American cryptids. Deck designer, Shaun W., put forth specific efforts to avoid a majority from any specific region of the continent. The 6 cryptids included in this playing card deck are Batsquatch, Bigfoot, Chupacabra, Flitterbick, Mothman and Fresno Nightcrawler. Each card suit has been shifted to represent a Cryptid. The shape takes notes from both the traditional playing card suit, as well as the cryptid. The red hearts and diamonds use a blue and purple color scheme, and the black clubs and spades use a blue and green color scheme.

Card Project: Deck of Healthy Habits

“Launching a brand includes a multitude of decisions and working with a company that gave an option for more sustainable packaging was important. Choosing the 100% post-consumer box for my deck of cards was an easy decision, and partnering with @shuffledink gave me a beautiful product that I can also feel proud knowing was a more responsible choice for the environment.” –Samantha March

Eco Tuck Box

100% Post-Consumer Recycled Fibers White Tuck Box

About

Helping you stay inspired, this deck displays a healthy habit on each card. The tuck box is printed on post-consumer recycled materials

August 2021 Features

Card Project: Pop Quip! The Party Game for Everyone

“We were drawn to ‘family owned and operated’ and once we got down to business, @shuffledink exceeded our expectations in quality, professionalism and their ability to be competitive with their prices. While other companies made us feel like our product (@popquip) was a low priority and they weren’t interested in working with our special requests (plastic-free packing) and printing the tuck box on recycled, post-consumer paper, Matt (CEO) and Lisa (VP of Sales) were happy and excited to work with us. They have earned another loyal customer by going above and beyond to make sure we were 100% completely satisfied with their work. We look forward to many more orders with them.” Adam Morley and Megan Robinson

Eco Tuck Box

100% Post-Consumer Recycled Fibers White Tuck Box

About

Locally produced to reduce the environmental impact associated with transportation, the Pop Quip! Game is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled fibers and packed without cellophane wrapping.

Game creators Adam Morley and Megan Robinson are a couple of pun-loving individuals striving to bring wordplay to life! FullIt’s compact so you can play anywhere. It’s great for road trips, game nights, airports, video chats and more!

Card Project: Crystal Universe Deck

“It is important to use ethical and sustainable practices with harvesting gems and minerals, and The Crystal Universe Deck gives people a chance to connect with the energy of crystals and minerals without having to over-consume.” Deanna Jacome & Grace Harrington Murdoch

Eco Tuck Box

100% Post-Consumer Recycled Fibers White Tuck Box

About

Creators Deanna Jacome and Grace Harrington Murdoch welcome you seamlessly into the natural world of crystals and stones with their Crystal Universe Deck. Its powerful healing components enhance our connection to nature, from the smallest pebble below to the massive planets above.

They chose the 100% post-consumer box for their cards because caring for the environment is important to them.  While creating the deck, they spent a lot of time connecting with nature.  The 40 fine art paintings were often done outside for each card and the writing for each oracle card was done in a very grounded and mindful way, carrying messages to connect with the natural world as often as possible.

September 2021 Feature

Card Project: True You Cards

“I’ve always been drawn to the kraft style material on printed pieces because it comes across as more handcrafted and personal than most printed packaging. Especially since printing can be such a technical process, I wanted something that felt more human. When I was writing and designing my card deck, the words and visuals kept pointing towards our connection to nature and reconnecting with our innate, natural wellbeing as a result of this connection. The sustainable packaging option felt like the obvious choice.” Gabriel Gandzjuk

Eco Tuck Box

30% Post-Consumer Recycled Fibers Brown Eco Kraft Tuck Box

About

In October 2020, Shuffled Ink partnered with True Life Habitat creator Gabriel Gandzjuk to manufacture his eco-friendly True You Cards. We were extremely excited to dip our toe into sustainable packaging, as this was one of the first Eco Kraft projects that we produced for a client.

Along with the eco box, Gabriel also sent us complimentary sustainable packaging, including comPost packs & comPostable labels; both are available for purchase here.

Quiet your cluttered mind with a daily moment of pause and insight in this beautifully designed card deck. True You Cards were designed to see that mental wellness is closer within our reach than we think. Disconnect from your device and reconnect with the True You.

Shuffled Ink’s Sustainable Summer Decks

We are also thrilled to launch the Sustainable Summer Deck collection, inspired by our beautiful planet and made with components of post-consumer recycled fibers.

Earth Day, Every Day Playing Cards (Eco Kraft Tuck Box)

Earth Day, Every Day Playing Cards (Post-Consumer White Tuck Box)

Eco Oracle Deck (Eco Kraft Tuck Box & Paper)

Eco Oracle Deck (Post-Consumer White Tuck Box)

Make Your Next Project Eco-Friendly

Request complimentary samples of our eco-friendly products to touch and feel the quality for yourself.

Here are a couple of eco options that we offer:

  • 30% Post-Consumer Recycled Fibers Eco Kraft Tuck Box
  • 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Fibers White Tuck Box

FROM GRIEF TO TAROT PASSION PROJECT: LATOYA MARQUEZ’S CARD STORY

FROM GRIEF TO TAROT PASSION PROJECT

After the sudden loss of her grandmother, grief fueled 37-year-old Latoya Marquez’s tarot passion project.

In this exclusive Shuffled Ink Card Story, Latoya Marquez, Government Mortgage Specialist by day and tarot designer by night, shares how writing self-affirmations to cope with grief sparked a fresh approach to tarot design and healing.

Now available and in-stock on Etsy here.

Shuffle Up! Tarot: A Work of He(art)

Complete with a blend of modern-day imagery and traditional Rider-Waite tarot elements, this personalized deck belongs to the beholder.

During the first week of August 2021, Latoya launched her brand Shuffled World Tarot and first tarot deck, Shuffle Up!. The idea for this project stemmed from the passing of her grandmother, Petra Torres Marquez in November 2020.

This traumatic and unexpected experience filled the artist with grief and heartache, which eventually led to sleepless nights. As a Communications Graduate from the University of South Florida, Latoya has always loved to write and often used it as a therapeutic release. But what was originally a curative method, soon resulted in an incredible and inspiring year-long passion project.

Latoya Marquez, Shuffle Up! creator, posing at a studio shoot.

Creativity is the Wanderlust of Satisfaction

Latoya’s design journey began when she requested a complimentary sample pack in order to see and feel the quality of our cards, various card stocks and size options.

“(Shuffled Ink is) all of what I wanted to experience in dealing with a local USA company,” she said. “I’ve already recommended Shuffled Ink to other creators wanting to do the same type of project.”

The Design Process:

Step 1

Latoya spent several weeks writing down ideas to illustrate on each card.

Step 2

It took a total of 60 days to sketch more than 80 cards by hand. In the early stages of the drawing process, she saw her Taurean grandmother alive and vibrant in the Hierophant card.

“She loved the color purple, lit candles, blessing her altars. A very spiritual Widow,” Latoya said.

Step 3

Thirty days to color in each sketch with a thick watercolor sketch pad, drawing utensils and quality markers.

Designing your own tarot deck means applying creative liberties as you see fit. Most tarot decks follow a standard formula: 78 cards with 22 Major and 56 Minor Arcana.

Shuffle Up! holds 78 hand-drawn, unlabeled cards as well as one dedication, which reads:

For every day we blink and breathe, the sun will always set. And when the sun rises, we have a new day to reset and be better than we were yesterday.

“One of the biggest obstacles in choosing a tarot deck is finding a great set of cards to identify with,” she said. “My format for the reader of any skill level is to identify the image and develop their own perceptions. This way, each Intuitive Reader can bond with my deck card after card.”

A Glimpse into Latoya’s 3 Favorite Cards in the Deck

Devil

She waits for the next contract to arrive. In the background, a shadowed arm lingers, eager to let new souls inside.

Exhaustion from a hard day’s work is symbolized by the removed horns which now rest on the bar beside the Devil. But the day is not over; there is still ink left in her pen.

Queen of Swords

Also known as the Hardcore Nun, she takes down names for the next man to behead as blood drips from her sword.

High Priestess

Drawn to the card’s beauty, particularly the 7-day color candle in the right-hand corner and the blended scroll of parchment at the foreground.

Connect with Latoya Marquez

The first 30 decks sold on Etsy come with a soft release bridge-sized 2″ x 2″ deck called, Shadow Affirmations. This Mini Deck is an all-in-one combined oracle, affirmation & angel number divination in a 30 count card set.

Latoya is on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook as Shuffled World Tarot. On YouTube, she posts ‘Tarotorial’ videos or in-depth explanations of each card in the deck.

Shuffled Ink is a multigenerational family business that specializes in printing custom playing cards, tarot & flash cards, packaging and more for businesses and individuals worldwide.

To receive complimentary samples of our card products, include your delivery address and phone number on your custom quote request form.

If we manufactured your card project and you would like us to share your Card Story on our blog, feel free to connect with our Marketing Team here.

THE QUEEN OF AFFIRMATIONS: ERICA V. WALTON’S CARD STORY

Erica V. Walton, owner of Evolving Diva Inc.

“You create something and then you don’t know if people are going to want it; you don’t know how they’re going to feel about it… I’ve learned that whatever you have, and whomever it’s for, it’ll find them –Erica Walton, Owner of Evolving Diva Inc.

Walton posing in a January 2020 shoot with Vision Queen Photography

In My Hands Queen Reign Supreme

From watching family members struggle with drug abuse to being abandoned by her biological parents, Erica V. Walton has dealt with countless tribulations. Fortunately, she was not completely alone.

Walton grew up on the south side of Chicago with her grandmother, who was her primary caregiver. To help release the pain and heartache that weighed heavily on 7-year-old Walton’s shoulders, her grandmother introduced her to affirmations.

These positive reminders were written onto sticky notes as well as spoken aloud in front of her mirror. This affirming ritual followed her well into adulthood, where she decided that she wanted to share it with the rest of the world.

Through coaching and workshops, children’s novels, journals, apparel and more, Evolving Diva Inc. inspires African American girls and women to let go of and find purpose in their pain.

Walton hoped to expand her services by producing an affirmation podcast or song but plans changed when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the country into quarantine.

Rather than feel deterred, she saw this as an opportunity to create something tangible, while also keeping herself safe from the virus: create custom affirmation cards.

Speak that S— Affirmation Deck

On Dec. 1, 2020, Walton launched the Speak that S— Affirmation Deck: 30 self-acceptance cards to use while meditating and finding encouragement as well as for setting intentions.

Instead of censoring the cards with PG-rated words like others often do, this Affirmation Queen believed that affirming oneself meant authenticity in thought and language. Withal, this affirmation deck is for adult-use only.

“(My affirmations) are right out there,” Walton said. “It’s saying exactly what I want you to feel.”

A 65-year-old Bronx woman pulls a card from Walton’s affirmation deck nearly every day. During one of her readings, she felt that the cards drawn didn’t mean anything to her. It wasn’t until receiving the same three phrases consecutively that she realized the universe was clearly telling her something.

“Sometimes (@wanna_be_startin_sumthin) has moments where she feels all alone,” Walton said, having spoken to the woman about the experience. “She felt like the card was reminding her that she was strong enough to handle her current situation.”

Walton said her affirmation cards can be used for any scenario and it’s important to accept each one as you see fit. In reality, the cards are a suggested guide. It’s you, the receiver, who finds meaning in it all.

“Usually it takes a few days for someone to get back to you at other companies,” she said. “But you guys were really quick with the quote and when I had questions about the deadline and the boxes, everybody was really hands-on.”

The Speak that S— Affirmation Deck is available for purchase on her website. Be sure to follow the Queen of Affirmations on Instagram and Facebook for more information!

The Speak That S— Affirmation Deck also includes 10 BONUS cards

To receive complimentary samples of our card products, include your delivery address and phone number on your custom quote request form.

If we manufactured your card project and you would like us to share your Card Story on our blog, feel free to connect with our Marketing Team here.

CHOOSING THE PERFECT TAROT OR ORACLE DECK

CHOOSING THE PERFECT TAROT OR ORACLE DECK

If there’s a deck you wish to possess, but it doesn’t exist yet, then you must create it.

Tarot beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Not every single deck or card you choose will resonate, so it may take some time to find your tarot/oracle niche. And that’s where we come in!

At Shuffled Ink, our clients create by design and without limits. They are artists who channel creativity and develop their own guidelines. Having worked alongside a tremendous amount of these talented creators and illustrators, we’ve gathered an extensive collection of mystic cards that we’re excited to share with you!

Hopefully, one of these decks will speak to you, or perhaps inspiration will strike and you’ll customize a set of your own!

Lexa Luna Studio

“Be a good ancestor. Stand for something bigger than yourself. Add value to the Earth during your sojourn.” — Marian Wright Edelman, Activist

The Future Ancestor Tarot Deck

Our client, Alexa Villanueva, created this sacred tarot deck during quarantine. She used sumi ink, water color paper, scissors & fallen leaves and flowers from her surrounding home in Seattle, Washington. A love letter of hope, gratitude and commitment live and breathe in the card’s illustrations and translations.

The Future Ancestor Tarot deck pays tribute to those who came before us by honoring the land beneath our toes. When we are actively responsible for our own actions, we pave the way for future generations who will live on this Earth long after we are gone.

  • Goal: To connect you with your intuition & dreams; to provide one with a sense of comfort, grounding and guidance
  • Level: Beginner or seasoned reader
  • Number of cards: 78, including Major and Minor Arcana & a custom tuck-box
  • Guide Pamphlet
The Future Ancestor Tarot Deck
The Future Ancestor Tarot Deck

All Things Intuitive TM

“Take each message as it resonates.” — Kris, Founder of ATI

All Things Intuitive founder, Kris, is an oracle creator and reader. Established in 2019, her mission is to provide independently created oracle cards and products to those looking to exercise divination tools, regardless of experience. All of the Oracle decks listed below are available in our Client Shop.

The Hidden Truth

Through your looking glass, seek knowledge about and answers from your Divine Masculine, Divine Feminine, a former love, your own higher self, their higher self, and/or a lost love? Simply ask to receive The Hidden Truth.

The Hidden Truth v2

Messages of Love

This candid romance oracle deck, the Messages of Love, answers questions about love, sex, twin flames, soulmates, past-life connections, and more. This deck is designed for any type of relationship.

Messages of Closure

Messages of Closure is a 54-card oracle deck created for those who have unfinished business with someone who has passed away.

The person you’re trying to connect with may have been a spouse or significant other, a parent or grandparent, a friend, or nearly anyone. This oracle card deck can help to provide the answers you seek, especially if the relationship was difficult.

 

In the Shadows

The In the Shadows deck holds energy for healing, cleansing and universal love.

What do you need to know about your person? What do you need to understand about your person? These shadow messages can give you insight into your connection. If you prefer straightforward messages, then this may work for you.

 

 

Everyday Magic

 “After much trial and tribulation the deck named itself the Wayhome Tarot.” — Bakara Wintner & Autumn Whitehurst, Wayhome Creators

Wayhome Tarot

Everyday Magic is an online shop that sells tarot and oracle cards, crystals, home goods and bath products. We’ve manufactured a handful of decks for this wonderful company, including the two featured below.

May we all find our way home through Wayhome Tarot. Filled with 78 images that cast a familiar feeling to the receiver. This deck is for any person who is willing to allow magic to seep into their daily human lives.

 

 

This Durham-based company is among my personal favorites. Another one of their decks, the Postcards from the Liminal Space (which unfortunately is sold out), sits on my own desk. I find myself flipping through the cards to admire its detailed illustrations and, at times, even use its insight to channel sense in mundane things.

REBEL

“They have the messages you may not want to hear, but you need to hear.” –Shannon Gomez, Creator of REBEL Deck

Rebel Deck (the original) If you’re looking for a light, funny and raw oracle experience, then Shannon Gomez’ REBEL Deck is best suited for you. Introducing divination with a modern twist and cards that do not hold back.

Rebel Deck (Couples Edition)

Connecting with others is just as important as connecting with yourself. The REBEL Deck Couples Edition is authentic, rebellious and foul-mouthed. Simply ask the cards what you and your partner need to know right now. These messages will tell it like it is with no interpretation necessary.

Both decks include:

  • 60 cards
  • 58 message cards, 1 cover card and 1 instruction card
  • For the “Here and Now”
  • Premium Card Stock 330gsm Black Core
  • Each card measures approx. 2.75″ x 4.75″
  • Shrink-Wrapped Matte Custom Tuck Box
  • Makes for a unique gift
  • Unicorns NOT INCLUDED

Indie Deck Hub

In August, Gomez launched Indie Deck Hub, a digital marketplace that specializes in independently created card decks. This is a space for creators to sell their products and for indie supporters to buy decks directly from the creator.

Three Trees Tarot

“Beautiful tarot cards with roots in the enchanting, natural world.” — Stephanie Burrows, Creator of Three Trees

Oak, Ash & Thorn Deck

For nature lovers. In folklore, the site of oak, ash and thorn trees entwined on a hillside mark the dwelling of spirits or the entrance to the other world. These trees come together with a collection of woodland animals to create a stunning and unique tarot art deck.

  • Eco-friendly
  • 83 cards total, equipped with the standard 78 (22 Major Arcana, 56 Minor Arcana) + two companion reference cards, a secret bonus card and two additional art cards
  • Custom Tuck Box
  • Eco-friendly
  • 400 gsm card stock, matte finish with anti-scuff laminate

They will be restocking on Nov. 25, 2020. Follow their media platforms for more updates.

Oak, Ash & Thorn Tarot Deck

The Oak, Ash & Thorn Deck was created by Stephanie Burrows and illustrated by Adam Oehlers.

Finding Your Tarot Deck

Hopefully this list has shown you that there’s undoubtedly a tarot and/or oracle deck out there for you. But if nothing piqued your interest, then here’s my advice to you. Playing off a quote about books by the late American Novelist Toni Morrison, if there’s a deck you wish to possess, but it doesn’t exist yet, then you must create it.

HOW TO USE AFFIRMATION CARDS

HOW TO USE AFFIRMATION CARDS Referring to affirmation cards as the modern-day tarot or oracle may be a stretch. While these cards do share similar qualities to oracle decks, they ultimately fall under their own realm. Affirmation cards use short sentences or phrases to cast positive thoughts and energy. The idea is to empower and enlighten the card reader as well as urge them to release any negativity. These cards have a powerful impact on one’s soul and will relieve the heaviness that comes with past mistakes.

Reading Affirmation Cards

Unless you are actively negating each card that you read, it is nearly impossible to use affirmations incorrectly. Let’s say you pick up a card with the affirmation “I Am Motivated”. How do you approach this message? To get the most out of your affirmation cards, here are three exercises to try.
  1. Ask Questions: Upon reading the card “I Am Motivated,” the first thought that comes to mind may help indicate where your motivation should be directed. Perhaps explore the parts of you that need improvement in the motivation department or recognize the ways that you are motivated. No matter the route you choose, it is important to ask questions: Why did this thought enter my mind? Where else do I need to seek motivation? How can I get to a point where I proudly and truthfully say, “I am Motivated”?
  2. Use Your Imagination: Close your eyes. Imagine what motivation looks like. You may see the physical energy, yourself as you are or a new version of you that embodies motivation. This meditative exercise allows your thoughts to meet reality, awakening any trapped potential.
  3. Take Action: It is important to actively seek motivation in a healthy way. If you are able to and in the right frame of mind, channel your energy into this newfound drive and run with it. For example, try saying the phrase aloud while looking at yourself in a mirror.

Oracle & Affirmation

Unlike tarot cards, oracle and affirmations do not follow a standard set of rules. Affirmation card creators have complete creative liberties with phrases and artwork. Tarot cards divide into Major and Minor Arcana and feature the same set of characters like The Magician, The High Priestess, etc. Affirmation decks have unique influential phrases and card designs, but if you’re looking for card empowerment, tarot and oracle are also viable options. It all depends on the type of readings you are looking to pursue.

Modern History

Affirmation cards are relatively new, which means we are in the midst of compiling notes and determining the terminology that will go into its history. In Monte Farber’s book Quantum Affirmations: The New Energy Science of Conscious Manifestation, he supports the claim through scientific research that affirmations work. Monte describes Quantum Affirmations as a method for transforming the affirmations that you believe to be true and relating them to the experiences that are actually possible to endure. For example, he asks the reader to compare quantum affirmations to a “virtual pack of breath mints” (p. 189) that you take whenever a negative thought enters your mind. As I’m sure you’ve realized, there is no right or wrong way to approach affirmations, but the depth in which you are willing to soul search will influence an affirmation card’s success. According to psychologist Catherine Moore, there is science behind affirmation cards. Self-affirmation is a psychological theory that focuses on validating yourself through positive words to gain self-integrity. Moore acknowledges that it may feel silly to sit down and tell yourself how special you are, but it goes beyond just that. Your words must reflect your actions.

Take Action with Affirmations

When creating your own deck of affirmation cards, we are with you every step of the way. Regardless of the order size, we will personally discuss design options with you. And when you request a quote, you will receive instant pricing. Shuffled Ink encourages creativity, which is why we offer complimentary graphic support and do not charge extra color fees. To spark inventiveness, here’s a couple of our clients’ custom affirmation card designs.
The “I Am Power Deck” honors who you are. These daily affirmations provide a sense of personal pride, power and presence. One by one, turn each card over to use as daily affirmations, divination and a unique spin on traditional mala meditation.
Featuring stunning nature photos, these custom View-Changer Cards provoke questions that inspire reflection, conversation, team-building and relaxation.
The “I Am” Everything Affirmation deck is stacked with 30 powerful messages that reaffirm your amazing qualities & define who you are in the moment. Shuffled Ink is a multigenerational family business specializing in printing custom playing cards, tarot & flash cards, packaging, and more for businesses and individuals worldwide. To receive complimentary samples of our card products, include your delivery address and phone number on your custom quote request form. ● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Tarot Cards at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Flash Cards at: ShuffledInk

HOW CUSTOM PLAYING CARDS ARE THE PERFECT PARTY FAVOR FOR ANY OCCASION

HOW CUSTOM PLAYING CARDS ARE THE PERFECT PARTY FAVOR FOR ANY OCCASION

When planning an event, party favors are a necessity.  There are a variety of different themes that can be incorporated into custom playing cards, making it the perfect choice for your next party favor.

Wedding Favor Custom Playing Cards

To celebrate the love between two people while surrounded by friends and family members is such a special moment in one’s life.  Nevertheless, there are definitely moments of stress and touches of insanity when it comes to planning a wedding ceremony.  Among those pressures of creating your dream atmosphere for you and everyone else involved, is coming up with the best party favor for your guests.  A popular requested product is personalized wedding favor custom playing cards.  It is a memory within a game that they will play for many years to come.

Wedding Custom Playing Card Ideas

  • Your proposal photos
  • Both of your baby photos
  • Old photos from when you started dating to the present day
  • Include fun facts about your relationship (quirks, interests, dislikes, etc.)
“Mr. and Mrs.” Wedding Party Favor Custom Playing Cards

Educational Custom Card Games for Kids

Planning a birthday party for your child takes as much time, effort and energy as it does to plan a party for an adult.  While you are organizing various events that will occupy the liveliness of young children for a considerable amount of hours, you have to also think about a custom favor or “goody bag” that will be passed out after the event because the fun and games don’t end when the party concludes. Whatever supplementary items you decide to place in these bags, consider the benefit of providing the young guests with customized educational card games that are designed for explicitly for children. Young minds are constantly being influenced day-after-day by anything and everything they are introduced to. It is our responsibility to implement education and learning skills into their impressionable minds, and it’s easy to create.  Here are some educational card game party favor examples created by our customers.

“Linguacious” Game-Based Custom Flash Cards for Learning Vocabulary

Positive Affirmation Cards

Party favors do not necessarily have to only be passed out during or after a party.  There is something thoughtful about random acts of kindness distributed toward the people who you love like your family members and friends, or the people who you see every day like your co-workers or even a stranger who you pass by on the street.  Custom Affirmation playing cards can mean a lot of different things to people, but one thing they do for everyone is relay positive messages.  With many people opening up about their mental health, and even for anyone who simply has a bad day, affirmation cards can truly help someone to embrace a positive mindset.  It is simply a reminder that everything will be OK.  With positive and motivating thoughts at one’s fingertips, it can be a comforting feeling for any person at any point in their life.

“I Am Power Deck” Custom Affirmation Cards

How to Create These Playing Card Party Favors

One of the great aspects of our company is that most of our custom printed products are manufactured in the U.S.A. We are grateful to have the team, tools and equipment necessary to make nearly all of your products, including the possible last-minute party favor ideas you desperately desire.  Creating your ideal product, whether it be one of the suggestions listed above or one of your own original ideas, is easy to create with our accessible Design Shop.  The basic steps include choosing a canvas/template, designing your custom playing card’s images and texts, etc.  And how you want your party favor to look is completely your decision, but of course, our design team is always happy to help assist.