These Minimalist Cards Are Almost Too Pretty to Play With

Illustration for article titled These Minimalist Cards Are Almost Too Pretty to Play With

Sometimes it's not what you include but what you exclude that matters—which is the idea behind this beautiful pack of playing cards by designer Joe Doucet.


Dubbed IOTA, the idea behind the cards was a simple one: just how much could be taken away while still maintaining a deck which could actually be used to play? Turns out the answer is quite a lot.

Using simple geometric shapes—triangles represent both spades and hearts, for instance—he's managed to convey just enough information to players using the bare minimum of visual cues. Incidentally, while it would be nice to have blank backs, that's not allowed for regulation playing cards, so Doucet opted for a simple, single diagonal.


All told, the result is a deck of cards which is stunningly beautiful—perhaps even too beautiful to play with. The cards will make an official debut at Doucet's Play exhibition at Wanted Design in New York, between May 17th and 20th. [Joe Doucet via Design Milk]

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Once again, a "designer" thinks they have a better way to make something, and they wind up making it half as useful while charging twice as much.