When I Was a Custom Card Designer: 2011 GameDay – Series 1

Posted: March 15, 2014 by Crackin' Wax in 2011, GameDay Graphers, Minnesota Twins
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After the tremendously overwhelming task of creating a custom GameDay OldSchool card nearly every day in 2010 for every game the Twins played, then following that up with a card for every game the Green Bay Packers played that year only to follow that up with over 50 insert-style cards tracing the whereabouts of former Minnesota Twins in the 2011 season, it was time for me to get back on the Graphers horse with a new concept.

While I enjoyed the vertical style of the 2010 Graphers, I wanted to try my hand at another horizontal style. The main goal with the 2011 set was to improve upon an already established theme while making the design appear more professional—like something you might actually pull out of a pack of licensed cards. One of the major problems with the original Graphers set from 2009, which were also horizontal, is that the player images were ridiculously small. The mistake I made was trying to fit the entire player into an upper corner of the card. This time, while still using the full player image, I made sure the player used up the majority of the height of the horizontal card.

I am a fan of using textures with my card designs, both for GameDay Graphers and for Varsity Trading Cards. In the 2011 Series 1 set, I attempted a more regal, elegant look. The player, with sharp shadowing, lays atop a suede-like banner which makes use of one of the team’s colors. The banner features the GameDay logo at the top with the player name and their team’s name at the bottom. That banner is hovering just above a worn and aged leather with a double border branded into it. That border also features gold embellishments on the corners as anchors. To form an autographing area, I “ripped” the banner and leather piece away along with its yellowed paper backing to expose the white textured graphing area.

I also developed a sub-set called GameDay Legacy which would honor retired players. The design is virtually identical except that the leather is dyed black instead of a more natural tanned brown. The gold embellishment anchors pop out a lot more on the legacy cards.

Below are all of the 2011 GameDay Graphers Series 1 cards I developed. You’ll notice I only got a few of them signed. You may also notice that I didn’t design very many of them. There was also only 1 non-Twins card made, too.

The reason I didn’t make very many of these cards is, simply, I was not happy with the design. After about the 3rd or 4th card, I got bored with it and started to develop what I originally intended to be the 2012 GameDay Graphers. The entire Series 1 look just seemed too forced and convoluted. The sharp shadowing seemed too cheap, the gold embellishment anchors seemed out of place, and the “torn leather” could have been executed much better. I also don’t care much for the black lettering with white glow around the GameDay logo and the player and team name text. I am happy with the way the card backs turned out, though. While I still don’t like the overall design of the card, at least the back is consistent with the front and the text pops much more on the banner.

The next WIWaCCD post will feature the final GameDay Graphers custom cards I ever made—2011 GameDay – Series 2. That set would, in my opinion, be the best custom card set I would ever make. I’m actually pretty excited to finally share them with you. Then, after that, the absolute FINAL WIWaCCD post—the second and final “Where Are They Now?” insert-style set.

  1. Reblogged this on Wax Cracker and commented:
    Check out this great blog. I think Crackin’ Wax and Wax Cracker should become sister sites.

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