Card Design Comparison Ancient Vs. Modern


Tarot Cards

The original purpose of tarot cards started as a game, the first basic rules appearing in the manuscript of Martiano da Tortona of Italy before 1425. Each card possesses a pictogram and title that represents a specific concept. The belief associated with Tarot focuses on the prospect that whatever cards are dealt will be revelatory. A variety of styles of tarot decks and designs exist and a number of typical regional patterns have emerged. Historically, one of the most important designs is the one usually known as the Tarot de Marseille. Many modern popular decks have modified the traditional symbolism to reflect the esoteric beliefs of their creators. The 22 thematic cards are represented by: Fool, Magician, High Priestess, Empress, Emperor, Hierophant, Lovers, Chario, Justice, Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Strength, Hanged Man, Death/Transformation, Temperance, Devil, Tower, Star, Moon, Sun, Judgment and World.

Tarot cards use uniformily conformed backs as to conceal their identity from the surroundings. Tarot cards have had many differently designed backs over their illustrious timespan manily symetrical shapes and divination thematics.


Magic: The Gathering

Magic was the first trading card game produced and it continues to thrive, with approximately twelve million players. Magic cards can be valuable due to their rarity and utility in competitive gameplay. Often the prices of a single card can be anywhere from a few cents to a few hundred dollars, and in some instances thousands of dollars. Magics key design element is within its color wheel, clockwise from the top they are: white, blue, black, red, and green.

White is the color of order, equality, righteousness, healing, law, community, peace, absolutism/totalitarianism, and light.

Blue is the color of intellect, reason, illusion, logic, knowledge, manipulation, and trickery, as well as the classical elements of air and water.

Black is the color of power, ambition, greed, death, illness, corruption, selfishness, amorality, and sacrifice; it is not necessarily evil, though many of its cards refer directly or indirectly to this concept.

Red is the color of freedom, chaos, passion, creativity, impulse, fury, warfare, lightning, the classical element of fire, and the non-living geological aspects of the classical element earth.

Green is the color of life, nature, reality, evolution/adaptability, ecology, interdependence, instinct, and indulgence.

The colors adjacent to each other on the pentagon are “allied” and often have similar, complementary abilities. For example, Blue has a relatively large number of flying creatures, as do White and Black, which are next to it. The two non-adjacent colors to a particular color are “enemy” colors, and are thematically opposed. For instance, Red tends to be very aggressive, while White and Blue are often more defensive in nature. Wizards of the Coast aims to balance power and abilities among the five colors by using the “Color Pie” to differentiate the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Magic unlike Tarot has always had the exact same card backings which never change. Magic has nowhere close to the same history as the Tarot cards so I assume if they continue in popularity that new backings would definetly not be out of the picture. Magic does not really require uniformed backings because most competitve players use sleeves that cover the back anyways. I think many Magic players would be very hesitant to this change though.

Author: Gavin Johnston

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About jedionston

Gavin "Dirk" Jedionston the "N" in "In N Out"

Posted on February 17, 2015, in LATEST ARTICLES and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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