'ATC' - Artist Trading Cards


What are they?

Artist Trading Cards (ATC, ATCs) are small artworks traded or exchanged among artists.The feature that defines an Artist Trading Card is size.They are always 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches (64 x 89 mm). The same size as sport trading cards and poker playing cards. Most works are on paper but metal, fabric, wood and plastic are also used. When an Artist Trading Card is a print or it is sold instead of exchanged, it is called an Art Card Editions and Originals (ACEO, ACEOs)

How do I make them?

Cut the cards from larger paper or buy them in pre-cut packs. On the back of the card place title of the piece, type of media, date, your name and contact information. Keep in mind collections are often stored in clear plastic sleeves, so thickness and textures are a factor in your in your designs.

History of Artist Trading Cards

Artist’s Trading Cards were brought to popularity through mail art projects during the Fluxus art movement (1950s and 60s) and through the efforts of Swiss artist M.V. Stimemann (1990s).

Display ideas 

  • Collect and store your cards in clear sport trading card sleeves.
  • Display ATCs in a place where they can be viewed, like a basket or box.
  • Frame them in groups for more impact.
  • Use mini easels to feature your favorites.
  • use a rubber stamp for the information on back of car.


  • Store your collection in clear box
  • Participate in or start local trading group
  • Do a series on a single subject
  • Make them for gifts
  • Keep them handy for promotional opportunities