On the cards: Areaware turns Solitaire’s iconic graphics into a real life deck

created in 1990
Created in 1990, Susan Kare's graphics for the Windows OS favourite Solitaire can now be enjoyed as a real-life set of playing cards, produced by Areaware
(Image credit: Susan Kare)

Long before our smart phones, computers and tablets came equipped with apps, games and streaming entertainment galore, there was Solitaire. The faithful card game, which made its first appearance on Windows 3.0 was designed by the pioneering graphic designer Susan Kare (opens in new tab), also the brain behind the original Macintosh system’s cherished icons (opens in new tab), such as the trash can, finder, bomb and lasso.

To celebrate Solitaire’s 25th anniversary, the Brooklyn-based design company Areaware (opens in new tab) has reproduced Kare’s original, pixelated graphics as a pack of 52 playing cards, thus bringing Solitaire into the real world. Kare has even designed two Jokers, which were previously not required in the game, to make a full deck.

Kare says, 'I worked on the original pixel art for the on-screen Solitaire cards in 1990 using an IBM PC, Microsoft Paint, and the typical 16 VGA color palette of the time. A lot of those weren't particularly attractive colors, but fortunately the card faces only required black, red, and yellow.'

I was inspired by classic card decks, and had the most fun trying to translate the complicated patterns of the Jacks, Queens, and Kings to a 72 dots-per-inch grid.'

cards

Kare recalls, 'I worked on the original pixel art for the on-screen Solitaire cards in 1990 using an IBM PC, Microsoft Paint, and the typical 16 VGA color palette of the time. I was inspired by classic card decks, and had the most fun trying to translate the complicated patterns of the Jacks, Queens and Kings to a 72 dots-per-inch grid'

(Image credit: Susan Kare)

cards by Susan kare

Areaware's playing cards feature exclusive new designs by Kare, who also created the cherished icons in the original Macintosh operating system

(Image credit: Susan Kare)

a card that was never required for Solitaire

Most notably, Kare has designed a new Joker for Areaware's deck – a card that was never required for Solitaire

(Image credit: Susan Kare)

Pei-Ru Keh is the US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru has held various titles at Wallpaper* since she joined in 2007. She currently reports on design, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru has taken a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars and actively seeks out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.