Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Q 6 If it is A R D V in France ( A L E F during the French Revolution) , and A K D B in Germany, what is it in the United Kingdom ?

Answer : It is A K Q J. The playing card sequence for the high cards. In France, during the revolution, R D V changed to Liberty, Equality, and Fratenity.

Background trivia : Originally, the cards were merely numbered, and numbers higher than X were common, but graphics of royals were usually associated with the top cards, often specific cards with specific royal personages (King of Clubs was usually Alexander the Great). Further, the kings were always the top card in early (pre-15th century) card games.

Additional trivia : The standard international card game tournaments are based on the 4 suit 52 card Anglo American French style. Other variants almost always involve four suits, though the total number of cards may change (36 in parts of Central Europe), or the symbols for the suits (acorns, bells, hearts and leaves in parts of Germany).

Transformational cards are cards where the enumerated suit symbols are naturally integrated into a picture by the graphic designer. Reversible cards can be traced back to 1745 to a French card maker in Agen. The joker was inserted into the deck in America, with its roots in the game of Euchre. The two jokers in a pack are usually asymmetric, and are called Big and Little Jokers.

Reference :

Wikipedia article on playing cards

International Playing Card Society page on the history of cards

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Q 5 If the USA replaced the lower typeface with the upper typeface, what are we talking about ?

A : These are typefaces for highway signage. The top typeface, Clearview Highway, will slowly replace the bottom one, Highway Gothic across Interstates in the US, according to the Federal Highway Adminstration approval in 2004.

Background trivia: Highway Gothic was created by the Public Roads Administration during WWII. Draft versions of this typeface was first used in 1942 for the Pentagon Road Network. The aim of the signage was legibility at high speeds.

Clearview was developed at the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute in 1992 based on several considerations like legibility under glare and at speed, and compactness.

Additional trivia Other famous signage typefaces include :


References :

Yaffa, Joshua. The Road to Clarity. New York Times Magazine. August 11, 2007