Nintendo made playing cards

Nintendo made playing cards

Nintendo is one of the biggest brands in the world. It is a Japanese company that has been around since 1889 when its first logo was created and is best known for its video game consoles and games. Before that however, Nintendo made playing cards.

The company has also created iconic characters such as Mario, Donkey Kong and Link and famous franchises like Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, and Animal Crossing.

Nintendo is a brand loved by many and has become a popular household name.

Even today the company still uses its red ‘racetrack’ design which I’m sure you’re all familiar with but did you know that if you go back almost a century the company was into a very different kind of gaming?

Nintendo made playing cards

Founded in Kyoto back in 1889 the original rectangular logo featured red at the top and dark blue Japanese letters below. In Japanese culture red is a colour associated with luck and blue shows trust.

Its first product was a pack of Japanese style playing cards that was designed to replace the Portuguese-introduced European cards when Japan banned foreign influences in the 17th century.

This was the brand’s second logo and showed a black and white spades graphic.

This success led Nintendo to produce other playing cards and even its own card games including Western playing cards.

Nintendo made playing cards

The logo from the 1950s even shows part of a classic ace of spades emblem with ‘Nintendo Playing Card Co’ set below.

Nintendo hand drawn logo

Logos used in the 1960s included one with a star as the dot of the ‘i’ set in a simple hand drawn style typeface giving an elegant look.

Nintendo retro logo

Later that decade the colour red was brought back to give a very striking logo which wouldn’t have looked out of place on an American muscle car.

However as cards declined in popularity, Nintendo was already experimenting with different kinds of toys and by the 1970s, the Nintendo logo had reached a much more recognisable form giving a sleek and stylish memorable logo, missing only the racetrack border that we know today.

Nintendo hexagonal logo

Nintendo did bring out a hexagon shape logo too as they wanted to represent the company in a positive light and make it unique and recognisable with an eye-catching logo.

Nintendo modern logo

When Nintendo launched Donkey Kong and then the Nintendo Entertainment System console in 1985, it kept the same Helvetica Black-like typography with the signature cropped ‘t’ ’. Later on the ‘racetrack’ was added.

Nintendo made playing cards

As I mentioned at the beginning the colours red, blue and black were chosen with care. Red is a colour associated with luck and joy, blue shows trust and reliability and black is used to represent strength and reliability.

Were you aware of any of these previous logos?