Tarot Card Borders

IMG_4288Most cards have some kind of framing margin that surrounds the card image, like a frame encloses a picture. For some Tarot people, the aesthetics of these borders is a pivotal issue, to the point where they’ll risk the structural integrity of their deck by using sharp metal tools to actually shave the borders off of their cards. For other people – like me – borders usually don’t make enough of a splash in the old visual cortex to even get noticed.

The publisher Lo Scarabeo seems to take a special amount of heat in this regard, as they often fill their card borders with text so that they can provide translations of a card’s verbiage into six different languages. Many people find the results to be hideous and intrusive. Personally, I think it’s nice that they want to welcome speakers of multiple languages into the Tarot world, and I barely notice the borders. But that’s just me.

How about you? Are card borders of paramount importance to you? Or do you hardly think about them?


  1. I don’t mind the borders, although the different languages irritate me, as usually you can tell what the card is by looking at it. I wouldn’t take the borders off, but I know others have done 🙂

    • Cheryl, I do agree with you that a good card shouldn’t need text to explain what it is…but then again, when a card has no text at all, that sometimes throws me off. I think I’ve been conditioned to expect at least a bit of text, simply because deck-makers seem to include it as though it’s required…?

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