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Playing card design dates back to the 1300's in Europe, and even earlier in China!

For centuries, humans having been playing card games like Bridge, Poker and Rummy.

Every country had there own version of card games – and they all needed an artist to design them!


Each country had there own games, and there own suits. (Check out the resources for more info.)

And each artist came up with their own designs for the suits, and the picture cards.


In this project, you will face their dilemma from centuries before — You must design a deck of playing cards!




Students will create a design for the King, Queen, Jack and Ace for a playing card design using Adobe Illustrator.

Card Size: 2.5 x 3.5 Image Area: 2 x 3

*As a class, students have the option of creating an entire class stack of playing cards.

Class Project

Alternatively, the class could elect to create a deck of cards totaling at least 52 cards.

The design must include four suits, four face cards, 2-10 number cards and four aces.
Students must choose a format/size of the playing cards. Could also include:
Back panel design
Card package

We could actual print a class deck of playing cards!
Objectives (Students will learn
  • How to combine illustration with design170px-5_of_Hearts_-_Vanity_Fair.JPG

  • Combining traditional and digital mediums

  • Scanning and fine-tuning images in Photoshop

  • Designing to Format Specifications for Print

  • The Elements and Principles of Design
    with a focus on Balance, Repetition, Shape, Pattern and Color

  • How to use Image Trace, Blends and other cool vector techniques in Adobe Illustrator
Essential Questions
(consider these questions throughout the process. How would you respond...?)

Is there a difference between and illustrator, designer and fine artist?

What is the difference between creating digitally and creating traditionally?
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