Football Cards: Design Characteristics Since 1985 Part 3

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Nowadays some companies even go as far as to put a kind of glitter on their sports cards to help the focal point (usually the player) stand out more. Another common feature that seems to have been added much more frequently is the way in which shapes are being used. The basic shapes of a flat twodimensional circle or square have now been transformed to appear almost threedimensional in depiction. Personally, I like the look of the shapes themselves, but at the same time, it is in my opinion that these shapes take away from what is supposed to be the focal point of the card, which is the player himself.

While these shapes look nice, yet busy, some companies keep on using them. But one change that I have noticed for the better, lies again with the border and the way in which the card is formatted. Sometime in the early 90’s, card companies went away from using the border in a rectangular fashion where it surrounded the entire photograph of the player. Now a large amount of card companies have taken away the full border, but have still employed a form of framing the subject. Some have developed a sort of seethru frame, where the picture of the player has a frame around him, but then the rest of the photograph still exudes outsides the frame to the very edges of the card.

Another method that is commonly used these days by card companies to help the player stand out even more than he normally would, occurs when the normal background is taken away from the photograph. In other words, sometimes the player is merelycutoutof the photograph and placed on top of a background of choice. Sometimes the player will just lie on top of a colored background or pattern, but other times he will be covering various shapes orlines that seem to create a sense of motion as if they are moving behind him.

Another spin-off of the above idea that has evolved more recently. involves the use of computer graphics. The same idea of cutting out the player is used, but instead of inserting a colored backdrop or shapes, the designer has replaced the normal background of the photograph with that of another. With this idea, you could use your imagination to the fullest of it’s extent. Designers could appear to have players running on the moon, or lumping over the sea. This is probably one method that is just as fun for the designer to create, as it is for the spectator to view.

These methods of design that I have brought up don’t just apply to sports cards obviously. but I felt that they were a good example to look at. Every year they are changing and coming up with something new for the viewer, hoping to draw them in by catching their attention with a brilliant design. This is the same objective for anyone who creates a design. You want to capture the viewer’s interest be developing a design that is visually appealing. If you succeed and reach this goal. then the results can only be positive.