Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tribute to 1994 Topps - Edwin Encarnacion

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In the mid-90s, Topps experimented with their base card designs. The cards were flashier, edgier, more modern.

This tribute to 1994 Topps highlights the first year of that phase, perhaps akin to a mid-life crisis (Topps returned to traditional designs starting in 1997).

Some of the things you'd see in 1994:
- Gradients (pow!)
- Laser-like colors (bam!)
- Script looking font (wow!)

You can see all of these in the Encarnacion card above.

The next year, 1995, Topps took two steps forward, two steps back. It abandoned the crazy colors and gradients. It also toned down the fonts a bit. But it did introduce:
- Ruffled borders (edgy looking?)
- Shiny parallels (oooooh)
- Foil stamped font

In 1996, they flipped and went very minimalist, removing the team name and player position from card fronts. Just to mix it up, I guess. Then, strangely, Topps added a stretched, color-tinted photo of each player as part of the card design.

Odd.

By the time 1997 rolled around, Topps was back to basics, although they did experiment with the gloss finish. In 1998, we can truly say that Topps returned to basics.

About the only element that remains from all this experimentation was foil stamping on the player names.

In spite of all the weirdness, this era of Topps was pretty fun. In this tribute to 1994 Topps, I like how they incorporated home plate into the design here. It's subtle, maybe even artistic in a way. I doubt a lot of people will be on board with this design, but I kind of like it.

Hope you enjoy!

5 comments:

  1. another great looking card- nice job

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  2. 1995 Topps - Worst Topps base set design ever.

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  3. Nice. Looks a lot better than mine.

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  4. Thanks!

    RE: 1995 Topps -- wow! I think they were taking a page from 1994 Stadium Club. I don't share the venom for that set, but it was quite the departure for them.

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