Playing cards (opens in new tab) are a staple of most households in the west, used for everything from drinking games and poker nights to a quite game of Solitaire; you'd be hard pressed to find someone who has never played some sort of card game.
The humble playing card has actually been around for hundreds of years, and the team at Blackjack.org (opens in new tab) have immortalised the evolution of them over the centuries in unique animated GIFs.
Their goal, says creative team member, Erin Hogg, was to to shed some light on just how much cards have evolved, how they have stayed true to their roots and hopefully, surprise readers with some new information about a major staple in our shared, global gaming culture.
The team asked: what do the designs on playing cards mean, and how have these cards changed over time?
"The story of playing cards has a rich, vibrant history dating all the way back to ninth-century China," Hogg reveals. "To illustrate the long and exciting history of playing card design, we selected playing cards over the centuries and morphed their design changes over time into the GIFs you see in the project."
The site teaches people how to play the game, the best strategies to win, plus reviews and news about all things Blackjack. One thing their audience has in common is a passion for the world of gaming.
"As you can imagine, playing cards are at the core of this passion, so we wanted to shed light on the rich design history of the cards players handled so often and may have not even thought about.
"We also wanted to teach those who maybe aren't huge card players themselves, but have an appreciation for design and history, about the exciting evolution of card design."
The team chose to implement GIFs in the project to tell the story of the design evolution of cards over time.
"Static images sometimes just don't do it justice if you wanted to compare design changes over time in a easily digestible way," says Hogg.
"GIFs are a fantastic way to tell a story in a short amount of time, as well. In our project, we have centuries of cards displayed about 30 seconds (looking at the first one in the project).
The team felt that if they wanted to tell a story of the long history of cards, they'd have to do it in a way that is easily digestible, doesn't take a long time to devour and ultimately, looks interesting.
Check out the project page (opens in new tab) here and learn a thing or two about those elusive playing cards you so regularly glance at but never pay attention to!
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