Football Cards: Design Characteristics Since 1985 Part 2

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While the outer edge of this card was green and white in color, within this trim was another trim, about half the size of the outer border. This trim was simple with only one color being portrayed. The color was used just as it was in the previous years model, matching a color to that of the player’s uniform. Below the photograph of the player, but still within the surrounding border, is a blue box. Inside the box is the player’s name in white.

This is the same technique that is used in the previous year, where one soft color is displayed in contrast with a bold color to help the name stand out for the viewer. In the corner, still within the border. but vet overlapping the inner trim, the name of the player’s team is shown inside a yellow diagonal rectangle. This idea of portraying this rectangle in a diagonal sense helped to create a symmetrical design as this rectangle was parallel to the white lines surrounding them. I think that Topps did an excellent job with the directional forces that helped to move your eyes back and forth from the bottom to upper comer of the card.

I’ve probably described these examples in a way that makes them sound very busy in form, when in fact they are not at all busy when compared to some of the designs that I’ve noticed in today’s cards. I haven’t collected cards for some time now, but every so often I’ve run across some cards at the store or in an advertisement, and the change from now to then is huge.

Before 1990 there weren’t designs that had any organic or abstract ways to them. They were always geometric in design, displaying shapes such as squares, circles, or rectangles within them Now, I have seen a large amount of designs that are asymmetrical in design where there are many unequal elements. and visual weight is forced to try and grab and hold the attention of the viewer.

The idea of the white trim border seems to be the rarest form of border found in sports cards these days. Colors are the way to make a border stand out now. White is almost a thing of the past. My personal favorite type of border is simple in it’s idea. For example. one year a football card company placed the main color of the team, at its full intensity, on the top of the card and gradually softened this color towards the middle while intensifying it again at the bottom. I like this because of it’s a very simple, yet positive effect.

In some instances, there is not even a border present. This is actually my own personal preference as well. The card design is much more simplistic, which in my mind is also much more effective. If anything, the viewer is appreciating the photograph of the player more than the design itself. Usually when there is no border surrounding the photo. the card company usually creates a box or circle of some size that is filled the player’s name and team. Although this might not count as much of a design, I think the idea of keeping things simple is the way to go.