The front side depicts a piece of art in a horizontal orientation. There are no foil art cards. Instead, all of them are treated with a specially developed gloss varnish that brings out the art. The card backs are mostly blank, with some collector's info (Magic logo, illustration credits, legal text and collector numbers). The backs are left uncoated. They are similar to an artist's proofs and thus provide room to get an artist's signature or sketch on it. They can also be used as tokens for copy effects, proxies, or if it is for a legendary creature it could be a good way to store experience counters, life total, commander tax, etc.
Arts cards were first featured in the Modern Horizons Art Series. They returned for the Zendikar Rising Art Series and Kaldheim Art Series. In these sets, five percent of the time, rather than a normal art card you'll get one with a gold-stamped signature of the artist. Every art card exists in both its normal version and its signature version.
List of sets with art cards
- Weekly MTG: Modern Horizons on Twitch
- Wizards of the Coast (May 31, 2019). "Modern Horizons Release Notes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (May 26, 2019). "Can you give us more information regarding the art cards?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Magic: The Gathering Panel with Mark Rosewater | Comic-Con@Home 2020 (Video). YouTube.
- Mark Rosewater (July 25, 2020). "Set Boosters". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Ari Zirulnik (January 25, 2021). "Kaldheim Product Overview". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.