Monday, March 21, 2016

2016 Pennant

I've posted the flagship and the "low-end" sets, so now it's time for the retro set. The Pennant designs of the past haven't necessarily tried to emulate a particular era. Basically what I try to do is keep them simple while incorporating design elements and trends that are decidedly un-modern. I think it's a good strategy for me so I don't run into a situation like Topps has with Allen & Ginter and Gypsy Queen designs that are hard to differentiate year after year.

The 2016 version harkens back to the late-'60s, with simple colors and a no-frills typeface (Franklin Gothic Condensed). As I tend to do, the color palette is dictated by the team logos instead of some arbitrary system like you would have found back then. The whites are dulled to represent the old uncoated stock and I added grain to the photos and the color boxes to imitate the look of cards from the era as well.

On the back, I went with a horizontal format for the first time with Pennant. All elements are black & white. The little corner tabs which housed the team and Pennant logos on the front are used for card number and a small player portrait on the back. These are definitely my favorite card backs I've designed for the Pennant brand.

Last year I had a "sepia" parallel but this year's design didn't really lend itself to it. If Spirit ever decided to go the "Chrome/Prizm" route, though, this would definitely be a candidate for it. The autograph parallels are still in existence, as well as the addition of a "jumbo" relic. There probably wouldn't be a parallel of each for every card in the set but the design changes so minimally that calling them parallels works for me.

Of all the designs I've posted here, this is probably the one I'd be most tempted to actually print samples of, especially for in-person autograph purposes. If anybody feels so inclined to do the legwork, I'd be up for the designing.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

2016 Clubhouse

I seem to be going every-other-year with the orientation of the Clubhouse set. Last year, they were vertical. So I guess it's time for horizontal again.

Once again, the design is filled with bold colors and simplicity, with the card cut in half by diagonal color boxes. The player cutout is surrounded by a white outline to keep them offset from the background. Diagonal bars come in from opposite sides for the player name and position with a team logo in a circle in the bottom right corner. It helps tie Clubhouse to the main Spirit base set without being such a overt copy. These simple elements keep the design from feeling overdone or cluttered while also keeping with the "fun" feel this low-end product strives for.

The back has plenty room for career stats while still following the elements and look of the front. Even the stat box is able to keep the angled format. If not for having to cut out every player, I'd consider doing a card for each of the 30 MLB teams just because the designing was so fun for me. To me, it strikes a good balance of modern and fun, without being too ornate like some designs are these days.

We still have the Pennant and Deluxe designs to finish/post and then I'll probably start on some new inserts for all four Spirit sets.