Court cards are converted Bicycle standard court cards. They as well as all pips, Jokers and the illustrated card imitate woodcuts (xylography) from the 16th-century books. Jokers and the illustrated card do that in classic way. Pictures on court cards and pips do that in creative way. Sam chose different tints of brown and red colours to create a visual difference between “black” and “red” suits. So “red” court cards have more different red tints and “black” court cards have more different brown tints. The text shows through pictures of court cards and pips which underlines the effect of woodcuts.
The King of Spades: Discoverie Deck – Bicycle Standard Deck
The Queen of hearts: Discoverie Deck – Bicycle Standard Deck
Woodcut is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood. Printing parts remain on the appropriate surface while the non-printing parts are removed. The surface is covered with ink by rolling over it with an ink-covered roller. Multiple colours can be printed by keying the paper to a frame around the woodblocks. In this case a different block is used for each colour.
Back design of these playing cards probably imitates the inside of the book cover and is noticeably one way. I guess the book happened to be in possession of some curious magician who couldn’t get over the first page of it ;). I almost can see his thumbprint on the left bottom corner of the “cover”.
On the other hand it can be the front of the book cover as such “enhanced” corners of book covers were popular that time.
Other decks by Big Blind Media: