Chicago Playing Cards

Chicago Playing Card Decks

Chicago Playing Cards

This project grew out of a collaboration between myself and five other Chicago-based designers and illustrators. We wanted to put together a set of playing cards based on unique or lesser-known aspects of the city. We designed and printed several runs of playing card decks, and hand-screenprinted a short run of large scale three color posters. We also printed the Chicago ambigram (reads right-side up and upside down) on tshirts. I designed the card backs, the ambigram, and the individual cards shown below.

Project Collaborators: Victor Fong / J. Stephen Lee / Aaron Maurer / Lou Medel / Margo Yoon

Chicago Playing Card: Card Backs

Chicago Playing Card: Chicago Theatre

Chicago Playing Card: The Vic Theatre

Chicago Playing Card: Oprah Winfrey, Ace of Hearts

Chicago Playing Card: The Daley Machine

Chicago Playing Card: Architect Jeanne Gang

Chicago Playing Card: Museum of Science and Industry

Chicago Playing Card: Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago Playing Card: Little Village Neighborhood

Chicago Playing Card: Humboldt Park Neighborhood

Chicago Playing Card: Deep Dish Pizza

Chicago Playing Card Uncut Deck screenprinted poster

Chicago Playing Card Uncut Deck screenprinted poster (detail)

Chicago Ambigram t-shirt

Chicago Ambigram t-shirt (upside down)

Full Chicago Playing Card Legend

Big Joker: Bozo the Clown
Little Joker: Rod Blagojevich

Aces of Chicago
Diamonds: Barack Obama
Clubs: Jane Addams
Hearts: Oprah Winfrey
Spades: Michael Jordan

Kings of Chicago
Diamonds: Al Capone
Clubs: Richard J. Daley/Richard M. Daley
Hearts: Harold Washington
Spades: Jake and Elwood Blues

Queens of Chicago
Diamonds: Jennifer Hudson/Chaka Khan
Clubs: Jane Byrne
Hearts: Mother Cabrini
Spades: Jeanne Gang

Jacks – Chicago Storytellers
Diamonds: Common/Kanye West
Clubs: Studs Terkel
Hearts: Carl Sandburg/Nelson Algren
Spades: Buddy Guy

Tens – Chicago History
Diamonds: Fort Dearborn
Clubs: The Haymarket Riot
Hearts: The Great Chicago Fire
Spades: The Columbian Exposition

Nines – Chicago Regional Landmarks
Diamonds: West Side – Flat Iron Building
Clubs: North Side – The Aragon Theatre
Hearts: South Side – The Palace of Fine Arts/Chicago Museum of Science and Industry
Spades: Loop – The Cloud Gate

Eights – Chicago Gates
Diamonds: Little Village
Clubs: Humboldt Park
Hearts: Union Stock Yard
Spades: Art Institute of Chicago

Sevens – Chicago Regional Parks
Diamonds: Loop – Grant Park (Buckingham Fountain)
Clubs: South Side – Jackson Park (Japanese Garden)
Hearts: West Side  – Humboldt Park (Humboldt Park Fieldhouse)
Spades: North Side – Lincoln Park (Lincoln Park Zoo)

Sixes – Chicago Food
Diamonds: Chicago-style pizza
Clubs: Italian beef
Hearts: Jibarito
Spades: Chicago-style hot dog

Fives – Chicago Sports
Diamonds: Baseball – Cubs and White Sox (Harry Caray)
Clubs: Hockey – Blackhawks (Bobby Hull)
Hearts: Basketball – Bulls (Derrick Rose)
Spades: Football – Bears (Mike Ditka)

Fours – Chicago Theatres
Diamonds: The Vic Theatre
Clubs: The Cadillac Theatre
Hearts: The Chicago Theatre
Spades: The Riviera Theatre

Threes – Chicago Transportation
Diamonds: Water transit
Clubs: CTA bus
Hearts: Taxi
Spades: The “L” Train

Twos – Chicago Architects
Diamonds: Mies van der Rohe
Clubs: Daniel Burnham
Hearts: Frank Lloyd Wright
Spades: Louis Sullivan