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Design Finland - Playing Cards

Ilmari Tapiovaara, Yrjö Kukkapuro, Kaj Frank, Tapio Wirkkala, Nanny Still, Vuokko Nurmesniemi and Hannu Kähönen have along with many others been significantly involved in creating the concept of Finnish design. They are not only great designers, many of them have also been inspiring teachers and role models for young designers. When discussing Finnish design they are unsurpassable, and now they are the kings, queens and jacks in a pack of playing cards.

The theme of the Design playing cards is Finnish design from the early 1900s to the 2010s. A variety of examples of excellent design have been selected for the cards: art objects, objects of everyday use, accessories from jewelry to high-heeled shoes—products the designer can be proud of and which the users have taken to. Some of the objects have been available for decades, while others have, after an interlude, been brought back into production. Many of them are collectors' items, rare and much sought after. The newest objects are from the recent production of talented young designers, maintaining a faith in the continuum of good Finnish design. A well-designed and manufactured product is both ecological and economic, and its value will endure.

The number cards from the ace to ten present design objects: clubs for appliances and tools, diamonds for textiles and fashion, hearts for furniture and lamps, and spades for ceramics and glassware. The court cards present prominent figures of Finnish design, as depicted in Mikko Metsähonkala’s insightful drawings. The two jokers are Armi Ratia, founder of Marimekko, and H. O. Gummerus, managing director of the Finnish Association of Art and Design from 1952 to 1975.

The persons and design objects depicted in the playing cards have been selected by a team that included architect Mikko Metsähonkala, interior designer Martti Lukander, the late director of the Design Museum Marianne Aav, head of communications and marketing of the Finnish Association of Designers Ornamo Minna Borg, and Rakennustieto publishing manager Tiina Heloma and managing editor Kristiina Bergholm.

Previously in the playing cards series:
Play Architecture (1st edition 1991)
Play Music (2009)

DESIGN FINLAND playing cards
Authors: Mikko Metsähonkala, Martti Lukander
Publisher: Rakennustieto Publishing
Pack of playing cards and presentation booklet for the court cards
Price: 17 €/pack

Further information and review copies: Kristiina Bergholm,

This press release is also available at: in the News section.

The pack of cards can be bought from the Rakennustieto online bookstore: and Rakennustieto bookstores: Runeberginkatu 5, Helsinki; Hallituskatu 9, Tampere; Uusikatu 32, Oulu; Raatimiehenkatu 20, Lappeenranta; Kauppakatu 40–42, Kuopio, as well as other well-stocked bookstores.

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Press release 13.4.2012