Do you want to know how playing cards are actually made? Here are a series of videos that take you through the historical development of the major deck production techniques.
This video from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London shows how woodcut playing cards were created:
The Rider-Waite-Smith deck was produced by Lithography (technically chromolithography as several colors were involved). The process was similar to what’s shown here except with a really big stone, a big press, and a separate run for each color:
Cartamundi in Belgium, who have printed many modern tarot decks, demonstrate how they print their playing cards:
I really hesitated about including this video, as it breaks my heart, but, since so many tarot decks are now printed in China, I thought it important that we understand a little of what is involved in obtaining such cheap prices:
And for something a little more personal—
Check out these sites:
- Guides for Producing Small Editions of Hand-made Playing Cards,
- Arnell Ando’s Useful Notes on Making and Publishing Your Own Tarot Deck.
If you don’t want to design your own deck but like a bit of handwork and a deck that looks different and, in many cases, is more immediate in its impact, try cutting off the borders of one of your decks. Tarotforum has a page with pictures of hundreds of trimmed tarot decks—check out which ones work best here first. And, here’s a video by Donnaleigh on how to do it: