The Italian cards that bring people together

An identity that is history

 

Guided by our passion for card games, at Modiano we are committed to preserve and improve the quality of our product, 100% made in Italy, which is the result of a clever combination of quality raw materials, technology, artistic skills, and solid company values.

We respect tradition and undertake every day to offer adults, children and pro players worldwide an item to share and enjoy the company of other people.

Historic brands Historic brand

Modiano is a historical trademark of national interest

 

Modiano is one of the businesses to have obtained registration as a Historical trademark of national interest, an accolade reserved for Italian companies with more than 50 years of history that have contributed to the diffusion and strengthened “Made in Italy”.

In a society increasingly more pervaded by technology, at Modiano we are proud of this new “old-fashioned” milestone and we will continue to create occasions to play able to bring people together, connecting different generations and worlds, thanks to moments of shared fun and a sustainable, positive vision of the future.

Art and business since 1868

 

Our story started in Trieste, way back in 1868.

Initially focussing on the production and sales of cigarette papers, Modiano evolved over the years  becoming a specialized company in printing of art lithographs and advertising posters, going on to stand out as a true benchmark in the world of playing cards.

1868

Saul D. Modiano founded Modiano, a company specialized in the import and export of cigarette papers under the name of Saul D. Modiano & Co.

1889

Following a ministerial decree permitting the company to produce lithographs, chromolithographs and photolithographs, the Graphic Arts division was set up.

1894

Modiano was the official purveyor of cigarette papers to the Hellenistic Royal Court, with a distribution network that was worldwide famous.

1904

The production of postcards was started up and continued until the Seventies.

1920-1930

In collaboration with international artists, Modiano developed conception and production of advertising posters and became a pioneer of Italian poster design. In the same period, Pollione Sigon drew some 7,000 sketches for Modiano products, including those for the Ramino 98 deck, still used today.

1987

Modiano was bought out by Grafad, a Trieste-based paper and card stock company founded in 1965. Production was moved permanently to the modern factory in Trieste’s industrial zone.

2018

The company celebrated the 150th anniversary of its foundation.

Intuition, creativity, collaboration

 

This is how our company has left its mark on the history of traditions in Italy and the world.

 

 

Saul D. Modiano was born in Salonicco in 1840 in a family of shopkeepers and, at a very early age, he moved to Trieste,: the city, at that time, was the main port of the Hapsburg Empire.

It was right here in 1868, in this strongly cosmopolitan area of Central Europe, that Saul founded the company that bore his name, specialized in the sale of paper and cigarette papers, which soon branched out into the production of boxes and printing. Saul further consolidated the name of Modiano by buying out the famous La Concordia playing card factory and then purchasing his first lithography press.

This particular artistic sensibility became a determining factor in the definition of the Modiano philosophy, further enriched by the creation of the Graphic Arts division, at the forefront in Europe for the production of lithographs, chromolithographs and photolithographs.

Between the many artists who helped to tell the history of Italy and Modiano, the first was Giuseppe Sigon, the creator of the professor Augusto Vierthaler portrait, an icon in late nineteenth-century cigarette paper advertising.

With a distribution network that stretched from Europe across to the east, Modiano was the official purveyor of cigarette papers to the Hellenistic Royal Court.

Business was so successful by the start of the twentieth century that it required the inauguration of a new factory in Fiume and one in Romans d’Isonzo, with an all-female workforce: some women were even allowed to work from home for some operations.

Later, in order to guarantee continuity in its paper supplies, Modiano even bought majority shares of two Italian paper manufacturers.

 

In 1922, Pollione Sigon became head graphic designer at Modiano, following in his father Giuseppe’s footsteps in the artistic and cultural history of the company. It was a very long and intense relationship, illustrated by some 7,000 of his sketches.

The new plant in Budapest developed collaboration with the biggest Italian and Hungarian artists, namely Orell, Cambon, Sigon, Quaiatti, Cuccoli, Tominz, and Timmel, called on to interpret the company and develop its line of signage, promotion and advertising for prestigious brands including Lloyd Adriatico, Cosulich, Generali, and Italia Navigazione.

Business continued down through generations to 1987 when Modiano was bought out by the Trieste-based Grafad, a company specialized in the production of paper and card stock.

 

Today, Modiano is a brand recognised both in Italy and around the world, one of the main players in the sector of production and distribution of playing cards, and also a reliable partner in the world of packaging.