Iconic design

Standing the test of time. Even at my earliest ages of collecting sports cards, my decision on what to buy was based on how the card looked. That continues to this day to a large degree. If I like how the card is put together, I buy the card and many more like it.

My baseball card buying has been refined over time, and I’ll likely get into that in an upcoming post.

When my son first started playing baseball, I had baseball cards of him made that fit that season’s design. I liked a lot of what was offered, but in other ways, I didn’t. For the past three baseball seasons, I have designed my own sports cards. The ones that have gone to press are on my Flickr account (see sidebar).

There are several card designs that really stand up through the years. One is the design that is the lead photo of this post, the 1955 Bowman baseball card that resembled a television set. Another design that stood out was the wood-paneled Topps issue from 1962. Here’s a pretty good column about card designs of themselves. And here’s a great forum discussion about good and bad designs.

Obviously, I’m not alone.

For my personal experience, I enjoyed the 1988 Topps, 1991 Donruss, 1989 Upper Deck and the 1992 Fleer sets before I got out and on to other sports and other likes. I’m not a huge fan of this year’s Topps edition. Next year’s looks pretty solid, depending upon how the back looks. Upper Deck’s final baseball issue looked good to me, and definitely would have been better had they weren’t locked out by Topps’ exclusive deal with MLB. I have enjoyed Panini’s entry through Donruss the past two years.

The memories of some of those old designs, or a riff on those designs, is what makes the Rookies app for the iPhone such a great app.

I write all of that to get to this: I have designed not only a few cards that are on my Flickr page, but I have several ready to be printed. A few designs I’m working on are tributes to some of the things I like or are riffs. And one design I’m surprised I have yet to see from the card companies is a faux smart phone.

Because I use an iPhone, it may as well look like an iPhone. And because most of this selfie-taking generation takes their smart phone photos vertically, the card will be vertical, too. I’m still working at it, but I think it’ll be a nice touch.

Hopefully, I’m on my way to making designs and cards that look iconic in their own right.


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