Tarot Card Art: Illustrations Rich With Symbolism

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The Hermit by Lisa Sterle

If you have a love for mysticism, you are probably familiar with tarot cards.  Many decks contain tarot card art that can be just as personal as the reading. Artistic styles range from classic to contemporary and the devil is in the details (as they say).

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The Moon by Fyodor Pavlov

Classic Tarot Card Art

Tarot cards were initially created by wealthy Italians in the 1400s and were used in games similar to Bridge.  Eventually, the Rider-Waite Smith deck was designed in 1902 with illustrations that are considered to be classic tarot card art.  This deck was primarily used for divination by occultists devoted to the exploration of the paranormal. You will enjoy the rich patterns of art nouveau depicting medieval times with a classic deck.

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Two of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith
Fun killing time with a tarot reading and this track in the bg.

Poster Art

Artists have always enjoyed creating their own takes on the classic deck.  It’s important to view tarot card art as a way to depict symbolism. Modern decks attempt to put a new twist on spiritualism with their unique interpretations of each card.  We especially like the cards created by R. Black, who also designs poster art for opera and more.

tarot card art | six swords poster illustration | Girlfriend is Better
Six of Swords by R. Black


If you see a style you love, see if there is a limited edition available.  Exclusive editions of tarot card art are usually printed on high-quality paper and have special details.  Many of these types of decks have cards that contain gold edges and different backs than original cards. Decks like these can quickly become a favorite collectible.  They are wonderful for passing down through the generations as a unique memory of your personality or taste in art.

tarot card art | two wands illustration limited edition | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Taroteca Studio

Selective Viewing

Many graphic designers like to try their hand at creating personal and more diverse imagery.  Completing an entire deck of tarot card art is quite an undertaking. Some artists select the major arcana, which includes cards such as the Moon, the High-Priestess, Death, and Strength.  Most artists pick a handful of their favorite cards to illustrate. They will pick cards that contain special meanings for them or that have images that they feel they can put their unique spin on.

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Strength by Alexandria Huntington

Gothic Devinations

Because creating an entire deck is so labor-intensive, a custom-created project is well worth the price.  Gothic lovers will appreciate tarot card art that is infused with skeletons, flowers, plants, and gold. The Marigold Tarot is a gorgeous project that displays: rings in lieu of pentacles, longswords or daggers, flower stems for wands, and skulls acting as vessels (for cups).  They are printed on black-core linen stock and come in a tuckbox stamped with gold foil.  

tarot card art | temperance gold skeleton gothic | Girlfriend is Better
Temperance by Amrit Brar

Custom Campaigns

Whether you buy a customized deck or a single poster, you can’t deny the beauty of tarot.  Many times tarot card art is commissioned as part of a marketing campaign. This gives artwork additional value if you love the history behind the art.  Artists of all types gravitate towards the beautiful, illustrative styles of tarot cards.

tarot card art | star illustration Halsey campaign Capitol Records | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Behance

Predicting The Future

Tarot cards have been around for centuries and carry as much value as the owner gives them.  We love the illustrative properties of tarot card art and will most likely write on these in the future. Learning tarot is pretty easy – most decks include a simple guide on how to perform a reading.  We’ll write something up for you soon, giving you some additional insights to tarot. Looking forward to it!

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