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Want to design Playing Cards.

Hy friends this is my first post here. Since my childhood I used to play with poker cards. Now I want to design poker cards. What software's and skills are needed to do this. I have not found so much tutorial in youtube. I want to make a cards like this. <<link removed>>. These exclusive cards will demonstrate the portraits of famous people. How can I do that?

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Staff member
I've removed the random hyperlink you inserted in the middle of the post. Please do not disguise any links in posts, and please post the full link at all times.

To create playing cards you will need Adobe Illustrator - and you can learn how to use Illustrator by signing up to a reputable website like Lynda.com that specialise in tutorials for software.

Your best bet to avoid disappointment is to work with a designer/illustrator to create the deck of cards for you.


Well-Known Member
As Hank says, you need to hire a designer or have a go yourself, then commission an illustrator for the illustrations.


Staff member
As above. You'll need something like Adobe Illustrator for setting it all up and making the files to send to the printer.

You'd need to set up a common design for the back of the card which you may be able to purchase a stock one or make your own
...and an artwork for each of the fronts.
The number and the suit is no biggie to layout.
From the example above, they've used a different person for each card (x52-53). I don't play cards.
This would cost an absolute fortune to get a decent illustrator to produce and would take a lot of time.

The way I'd do it which is a very much cheaper and quicker option that you could pretty much do yourself or get a designer to do is:

Use Photoshop and get a plug-in called Engraver 111.
(There is a more limited free one or a manual way to do it but it'd be worth the cost)
It's a filter that turns a photograph into an engraving like you see on a bank note and looks similar to the example.
It's a really cool look and very quick and easy to use.
I've used it a lot in the past and I'd recommend it.

You'd just need a decent image of the person to start with and it wouldn't need to be super hi-res either.
You could also Image Trace it in Illustrator afterwards to get a vectorised image of the engraving.
If they're images of historically famous people then there shouldn't be any issues with copyright or usage if the images are over 50 years old.
(You may need to check that out better as Shepard Fairey found out the hard way with his famous Obama image).

If you're not a designer then I'd deffo hook up with one if I were you.
You'd get a MUCH better result and it's save LOADS of time and probably money too.

Then you'd need to source a decent printer.
I'm not sure if they use a special stock for printing quality playing cards on to but I guess you could research that.
They'd need to make a cutting forme/die which is like a cookie cutter to get the rounded corners which is an extra process/cost.

Also, don't forget that you'd need to get the box.packaging done as well.

You could get away with two colour printing plus one colour for the reverse so that would be pretty cheap which could make room for some nice embellishment like hot foil or varnishing.
I'd deffo add something like that on the packaging.

Anyhow. That's how I'd do it. ;)


Staff member
Well - if they're famous people you probably want to get their permission or their estates' permission to use their image - else you will get sued.

Only if you are going into commercial sale of the cards.