Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Staubach was my first non-1955 custom card


Once I had created a few 1955 Topps-style All-American football cards some years back, I naturally began to wonder whether I had the chops to break out of that format and work in a different genre.

My first experiment was the cr4eation of a 1952 Bowman-style card. I was only a year old when the '52B cards were issued, but as a youngster as I inherited shoebox hoards from older kids and traded with others in the neighbordhood, more than a few 1952 Bowman football made their way into my holdings. Those artwork cards have always appealed to me because of the set's mix of college and NFL players, as well as the varied backgrounds behind the player art . . . some were representations of football fields and lockerrooms, some were merely color abstractions.

In contemplating the checklist for my own football card creations, I knew that any college set of mine would need a Roger Staubach card. While photos of Staubach as a Navy quarterback are available, I've always had a special attraction to the artwork portrait that appeared on the cover of Time magazine's Oct. 18, 1963, edition. (Coincidentally, an action color photo of Staubach was scheduled to appear on the cover of Life magazine's Nov. 29, 1963, issue, but was pulled following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Only a few copies of the Staubach-cover issue are known . . . it would also make a good football card.)

After deciding to do my Staubach in the 1952 Bowman style, I scoured eBay and found a copy for about $15. My next decision was whether to do my card in the large or the small size in which Bowman made its football set in 1952. I chose the large (2-1/2" x 3-3/4") size because not only did it offer a larger display for my creation, but as a kid I do not remember ever owning of the '52B in the smaller (2-1/8" x 3-1/8") format.

I thought putting the Time portrait art on a card would be an easy job, but the proportions didn't exactly translate between the two formats. To give myself enough room to display the name banner and the Navy logo without obscuring some of what I felt were themore important details of the portrait, I had to add a litle bit to the length of the picture. I was still rather new to Photoshop Elements at the time, so I'm sure I made the job more complicated than necessary, but by judicious application of the graphic program's pattern function, I was able to add a little bit of wrist, jersey and jersey number to the portrait and create what I think is a pleasing arrangement of the design elements.

For the background of my card (on the magazine cover Staubach appears against a light blue sky), I used that which had appeared on the 1952 Bowman George Halas card.

Another difference I quickly discovered between making a 1955 Topps-style card and a 1952 Bowman-style is that the latter offered much for room for a biographical summary, so I was able to tell much more of Staubach's story.
Over the years I've createrd a handful of other Bowman artwork-style football cards, including two different versions of a Brett Favre, which I'll share here some day.

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