Blood and Beast: Premium Playing Cards

A new entrant to the playing cards scene is Purely Idea who hails from Singapore. Blood and Beast is the title of the project and it is heavily influenced by fantasy elements especially by Tolkien.

Each pip suit represents a race from the fantasy genre and they are as follows:


The background of the card face gave me a familiar feeling. As a matter of fact, it bears some resemblance to Marchen Playing Cards illustrated by Nicolai Aaroe. Blood and Beast is also using pencil sketching for the royal court portraits.

I would like to highlight an interesting design element which is the use of Elder Futhark runes. Those are used on the front of the tuck boxes. Elder Futhark runes are believed to have been used around 9 BCE. It was theorised that Futhark was adapted from either the Greek or Etruscan alphabet.

There are two editions for Blood and Beast. The dark dragon deck is embossed in silver foil and at the bottom of the front tuck box is printed with Elder Futhark runes. The runes translate to “Silver edition”.

On the other hand, the light dragon is embossed in gold foil and it also has Elder Futhark runes. Consequently, the runes translate to “Gold edition”

Card back designs for Silver Edition (left) and Gold Edition (right)

There are also customised tuck box seal for each edition.

Royal Court Portraits


Typically a court used to portray warriors or princes; and this project follows the same trend.


Right after the Jack courts will be the Queens. Not wanting to criticize the aesthetics of the illustrations, the beauty of the Queens isn’t what I would expect. When one think of Queens in the realm of fantasy, naturally images of beautiful women will pop up in our minds. However, this isn’t happening in Blood and Beast.


Following the Queens will be the Kings. We can see that the Kings are more obvious in wearing the crown around their heads. They are the only courts that appear to wear crowns.

Aces and other cards


(left to right) Human, Elf, Dwarf and Monster


There are cards of dragons in Blood and Beast, not sure if those are meant to be the joker cards since there are no mention of this.


There are no notable add-ons in this project and neither did the two editions offer anything special or different. In terms of appeal, it may not be very attractive. Furthermore, this fantasy concept has gotten saturated and it is difficult to garner interest without a distinctive appeal.

There are some redeeming factors; the illustrations follows a style of pencil sketches. The art style is quite detailed but it lacks a certain attractiveness or a captivating factor.

The last point I want to make known is that the printer for this project is tentatively Shenzhen printing which is also known as Wangjing Playing Cards Company (WJPCC). This factor alone can turn off a few playing cards collectors who prefers more established manufacturers like United States Playing Cards (UPSCC).


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