Saturday, September 26, 2015

Mike Tomlin introduces my '55 format change

One hundred and seventy cards, and 13 years, into my "updating" of the classic 1955 Topps All-American college football series, I've determined it's time for a format revision.

If I'd known then, when I made my first-ever custom card (a '55-style Peyton Manning), what I've learned since, I would have started the project differently. For instance, I would have done a better job of matching the fonts Topps used on the card backs. I would have also justified the lines of type. But back in 2003, I didn't know how to justify type in Photoshop Elements.

I've just completed card #271 (Topps did the first 100) in my set. While working on the back of my Mike Tomlin card, I reflected for about the 171st time how hard it was to digest a footballer's career into 90-100 words. I decided that eliminating the cartoon trivia question on back would give me more freedom to present the player's biography.

It turned out that really wasn't the answer. The finished no-cartoon format just didn't look like a 1950s bubblegum card. Shifting gears once again, I decided to retain a cartoon element, but rather than using a generic cartoon that had nothing to do with the subject of the card, I would make the cartoon relevant to the player. I would also use the space below the cartoon that used to carry the upside-down trivia answer to add 10-15 words to my career summaries. 

I think that's the right choice. I've decided not to change the fonts I've been using. At this point; preserving the "look" of my cards
seems to be more important that conforming to what Topps did 60 years ago. For the same reason (really, it's not just because it's easier), I'm not going to justify the type.

Here, then, is the first of my revised-format All-American cards.

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