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Nothing says “Warning, Cardistry Ahead” like Broken Borders Playing Cards


NDO’s Broken Borders is one of those weird cardistry decks that makes perfect sense once you see it in motion. 

The backs are striking, featuring a garish, black and yellow “physical danger” stripe motif. The black stripes occasionally run right to the bleed, overriding the white borders and visually dissecting the cards in the right light. The same design is carried over to the fronts. The top right and bottom left borders of each card has the same striped pattern, giving the impression of an unbroken line running through the standard royals and pips. 

It’s clear from the Ace of Spades, the only card in the deck I’d say is traditionally aesthetically pleasing, that Broken Borders could have been a far more coherent deck with a few design tweaks, but that contrast is kind of the point. The traditional royals clash with the industrial design of the stripes, as does the negative space between the pips. 

The deck was apparently inspired by the “industrial motifs of modern urban life,” and Broken Borders actually carries that theme very well. Just look at the kings. What’s more thoroughly urban than a man in his finery flanked by the colors and shapes of industry?

In motion, the deck is vivid and powerful. The stripes turn into sharp diamonds as the cards are fanned and the contrast between the fronts and the backs makes flips look great.

A deck of Broken Borders will run you $13 plus shipping.