These gangster playing cards are styled after infamous Russian Prison cards. A little internet research will reveal some seriously amazing sets crafted by some of the world’s most ruthless criminals, in some of the world’s harshest prisons. With that inspiration in tow, I set out to make an American deck with that bold Soviet flair for the final project of my Adobe Illustrator course at WilmU.
Skulls, the Virgin Mary, and Lenin all appear on face cards, while the various suits all have unique, semi-abstracted symbols. Like many of the prison decks they are modeled after, the number cards each have distinctive (and a bit bewildering) patterns to display the number of the card using the symbol of the particular suit. Also note the Cyrillic text in the corners with the Russian word for each number. If you are ever in DE and want to play a game of poker, give me a call and я надеру тебе задницу!