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Theory 11 Playing Cards

January 15, 2013

During winter vacation, my wife and I got sick of watching TV and decided to play Crazy Eights. Our son asked if he could play and we decided to teach him. My wife had bought a special deck of cards specifically designed for the game. However it was one of those “modern-artsy” decks you find at a museum gift shop that was made of clear plastic instead of paper, with the art silk-screened on it. The plastic doesn’t shuffle as easily as paper and the cards tended to stick to the coffee table.

So later that night, I went online to Theory 11 and ordered 2 different decks from them. Theory 11 specializes in designer playing cards and magic accessories. They have partnered with different designers and artists to produce their limited-edition, high-end playing cards. The cards are printed by the U.S. Playing Card Company in the U.S. on premium coated stock, with custom colors, inks, etc. The boxes are usually embossed or letterpressed and equally gorgeous. They also offer the standard and titanium editions of Bicycle and Bee brand cards–the kind you can usually find at a grocery store. What makes Theory 11 great is that most of their “high-end” decks sell for the $5.95 to $6.95 range, leaving you with plenty left in your wallet to lose on game night.

I bought the Animal Kingdom deck, with art by Hatch Design San Francisco. A $1 from every deck sold goes towards the World Wildlife Fund. All the cards had custom art, and even each icon on high number cards like a 9 were different and hand-drawn.

Even the interior of the box is finished:






Detail showing the basketweave texture on the cardstock:

I also bought a deck of Monarchs in the silver finish–they also come in a gold on black finish. I had been wanting these ever since I saw them in a design magazine last year. The art on the cards is your classic playing card art, with the exception of the ace of Spades and the Joker. The cards come in a lovely white box, with all the art embossed and foil stamped in silver:

Same basket-weave paper texture:



One Comment
  1. January 15, 2013 6:48 am

    Those are cool!

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