When I Was a Custom Card Designer: 2010 GameDay Book Cards

Posted: January 18, 2013 by Crackin' Wax in 2010, GameDay Memorabilia
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First of all, huge congrats go out to Brent Williams of Brent & Becca Breaks for winning the 2012 Topps Football Golden Ticket Drawing! His prize? His very own Topps card! Great job, sir! You deserve it!

Okay, onto my lame-o crap.

Part of the reason I continued making custom cards in 2010 was that I wanted to try my hand at creating some book cards. Nothing fancy, mind you. I am without any sort of die-cutter. In fact, all I have at my disposal is a couple of Xacto knives and a couple of craft paper punches.

Having my degree in graphic design, I called upon my knowledge of desktop publishing to figure out the logistics of designing and assembling such a card. The first few attempts ended up being thick monstrosities that ended up smelling like moth balls (just ask Pat Neshek–his words, I swear). Each book card got thinner and thinner as I perfected the craft of home-made book card making.

Seriously, making these things made me feel all artsy fartsy. I could have blended right in with the old craft bitties at the VFW with my card stock, paper punches, adhesives, sprays, cutting boards and other miscellaneous cutting tools.

The concept was kept simple. The book cover was treated as such while the back was treated just like it was just another card back from the 2010 GameDay Graphers set. The front and back were bridged together by a spine that included the featured player’s name. The inside flap took on the role of the card front designed just like those in the ’10 GDGs–but skinnier to accommodate the fold.

The inside book was the main event. It housed whatever memorabilia I decided to use–manufactured patches, baseball skins, tickets, newspaper articles, pieces of jersey, etc. The design contained a healthy window punch to show off as much of the used article as possible.

My first attempted book card was of, naturally–and, for those of you that know me well enough, there really is no shock here–Pat Neshek. I wanted to commemorate the Inaugural Season of Target Field while also doing the same for his return to the Majors.


As you can see, the design of the book cover matches the manufactured patch that was inserted into the book. A funny side story about this book card… I actually made two of these books, splitting the patch between the two. One book was for me and the other was for Pat. I did not mention this to him or anyone on his message board. When I went to TwinsFest in 2011, I approached Pat and handed him my copy. Just as soon as he took it from my hands he said, “oh, man, do you have one for me?” My wife and I flashed each other a look of amazement and both started laughing as I explained “well, it just so happens that I do!”

Don't mind my creepy stalker hair

Don’t mind my creepy stalker hair

The next book that I tackled was another patch card, this time of Twins legend, Kent Hrbek. The Neshek books, while plenty sturdy, were thicker than necessary. You’ll notice that the Hrbek book has a much smaller spine. I’ve included an overhead shot of the card in a semi-closed position.


There were two other book cards that I wanted to make but got no further than the design. I found myself unable to find time to get one signed while, very sadly, the subject of the other book passed away.


Those final two unfinished books were designed at a higher resolution than the previous books. I also included the subject’s name on the front of each book card, giving it a more complete feel. The white circle on the back of the card was inserted for me to inscribe 1/1 into after the books were signed. Unfortunately, the books were never assembled and never signed.

Next time on When I Was a Custom Card Designer: the final batch of 2010s, the non-Twins cards–including the only GameDay Grapher football card I’ve ever made. Any guesses as to who the subject is?



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