Custom Dutch Blitz Cards

Custom Blitz Cards

The Obsession

My family gets competitive with card games. Our latest obsession is Dutch Blitz, a fast-paced game that seems somewhat regional due to the Pennsylvania Dutch influence.

To give you an idea of just how seriously we take it, we have a spreadsheet to keep score and maintain lifetime stats. Feel free to fork it for your own use.

We’ve also purpose-built a Dutch Blitz table with green felt.

Dutch Blitz Table

The latest endeavor? To create custom cards in the style of Dutch Blitz / Ligretto / Nerts.

The Design

The Dutch Blitz cards definitely have a charm, but they’ve also got some usability issues. The color combinations have poor contrast, black on blue in particular. Differentiating the boy and girl takes an extra second, which matters in the heat of the moment. The numbers are small and can be tough to read from across the table.

Flip the cards over, and the vintage etchings — the pump, carriage, plow, and pail — are endearing but have no personal significance to us. One is assigned to each player, but keeping straight which is whose takes a few rounds.

Expansion Pack

For more than 4 players, the expansion pack is just a palette swap of the same four objects.

If a 5th and 6th suit can be devised to fit with classic poker cards, it shouldn’t be tough to spot more things around the farm for Dutch Blitz.


The Redesign

And so I took the opportunity to design custom cards and have some fun with personalized illustrations.

For the redesigned faces, I took a modern, minimalist style inspired by Minim playing cards and UNO Minimalista.

For the backs, I went with branded objects we already associate with different members of the family. Here are the results.

Custom Blitz Cards

You might be able to guess which object is mine.

Here are some alternative backs I had printed up for a gift.

Custom Dutch Blitz Illustrations

Now to playtest this deck and no doubt iterate on it, getting ever closer to the ultimate Dutch Blitz experience.


Leeanne has graciously shared her own spin — silly animals in silly hats! They capture the art style of the original game perfectly. My personal favorite is the raccoon in a Croc. What’s yours?

Download her designs in PNG and SVG format.


Lance Smith also shared his take, representing his family’s ties to DC, VA, OK, and FL.

Dutch Blitz Lance

13 comments Write a comment

  1. This is exactly what I was thinking of doing!

    Did you have a company print them for you? If so, do you mind sharing their contact information?

  2. I would love to make some of these custom blitz cards. Do you happen to have a template for the pack that we could use?

  3. Hey Thomas! I’m trying to create my own using the same website you mentioned in another comment. May I ask you, did you buy a deck of 320 (8 colours * 40 cards each) once or did you structure it a different way to save money?

    • Hey! Basically yes, I ordered the initial set of 160 to see how they turn out. Then I put in another order for 160 as kind of an expansion pack.

      The biggest question marks for me were print color/quality (which were fine) and finish. I ordered this sample pack ahead of time to get a sense of the different finish options.

  4. Thank you for sharing all the files! I learned how to play over the weekend and immediately hopped online to buy a deck. I saw this page and loved the style! I wanted a quirky style for the backs of the cards though and thought others would like them too. I made some vector images of animals in hats! I can send to you so you can share the svg and png assets as well! I also did 8 designs for two different decks

  5. Hi Thomas, I’m in the finishing stages of my custom set, design is uploaded and ready for print, but I was curious what size and finish you went with. I can share the design with you if you would like, thanks.

  6. Thanks so much for sharing this! It inspired me to put together a custom set for a friends birthday.
    I do wish I’d checked the comments earlier though, I re-made very similar fronts to what you did before I realized that you’d shared your assets and I could’ve saved myself a ton of time!

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