Friday, September 14, 2012

My Top 5 & Worst 5 Topps Card Designs

Every site or blogger has their own favorites and not so favorites, so why not I do the same!  I am going to look at my 5 favorites and 5 ugly designs from Topps (base set) from 1951-2012.  I am not basing my likes or dislikes on who was in the sets or value, just the design itself!

I base my favorites and ugly on my personnel taste, not off any other blog or survey.  Enjoy!

#5 2003 Topps
This set was the only time since 1984 that Topps had a players photo on the front of the card.  The photos were clear and bright and has a great looking navy blue boarder.  Very clean design and easy on the eye! Unlike many of the previous years, the player names were hard to read, this year Topps used a solid color making it easier than my worst design 1998 Topps which used a multicolored background.
#4 1983 Topps
Just like my number 5 pick, the 1983 Topps also had a very attractive player photo.  One of the best things I loved about this set was each team had a their two team colors.  For many years Topps had some poor action shots but not in 1983.  One of the greatest reason I loved this set was it was one of the last sets Topps seemed to quickly throw together in the mass production phase of the mid to late 80s.  
  #3 1968 Topps
What the first thing I have always loved about the 1968 Topps set is, the brown dots!  From card to card, series to series it seemed no two cards had the same dot patterns!  Some dots were dark and some were light.  The photo was uncluttered, names and team names were easily readable.  I loved Topps using the large rookie trophy!
#2 1972 Topps
I have seen this design featured as one of the worst ever, but not me, I love it!  If one card design can sum up the decor and designs of the 1970s, this would be the set.  The colors, the 3D team and fonts are truly 100% retro!  This has always been one of my top favorite designs from why I started collecting, and here almost 30 years later it still is!

#1 FAVORITE 1952 Topps
Look at every card made before Topps released this card design in 1952 and you will not see a card put together like this design.  A great looking color logo on top of a bright photo that uses artist type coloring.  On top of that, it has a star studded box highlighting the star on the card with his signature.  This card design every year seems to be a hit for Topps to reprint.  You can never get tired of this classic design!
#5 1957 Topps
 Maybe the most boring design ever made by Topps. Since 1952 thru 1956 Topps was pushing the envelope on putting something new or exciting on their cards.  1957 used a photo with team and player name sometimes camouflaged to make it hard to read.  Other than a color photo, this looks like a design that could pass for a 1940s design, setting it back a decade.

#4 1994 Topps
I have one huge problem with this card, and it isn't as much as the design but why did Topps feel to put so much coating on these cards?  If you have 100 1994 cards together, you have a brick.  If I come across hundreds of these cards stuck together, I choose to bypass them.  Some of the names are not as easy to read with using cursive.  The longer the names the harder it gets to read.  For me thumbing through cards quickly I don't want them to stick together, and I want them to be easily readable.  This design was a strike out.  
#3 1974 Topps
I was torn with this design, for many years I hated this design, but a part of me kind of liked it in this years Archives set.  I have always felt that the top and bottom had to much jumbled up information.  If I were to come up with a design and it was 1974.  As a collector looking through cards looking for a certain card or players, I want to find the information quick without having to scan everywhere to find information.  Below is a type of design that would have been a little better.


#2 1995 Topps
Pet peeve, making the players name in a font that is hard to read, and then make it even harder to read because of the color!   I don't like the chrome name because it gets very disguised into the photo, on some photos it may look great, but on some it could look terrible!  Just a too basic design, and I never expect Topps to purposely bring this back.

#1 WORST 1998 Topps
Hate is not a big enough word for this design.  A small team chrome name, and unreadable name on top of hard to read colors makes me want to skip these cards when thumbing through cards.  This is another example of cluttered chrome words on a horrible color background.  Unlike the 2003 Topps design using navy blue, I am not a big fan of this color gold.

What do you think?  Anything did you see really spark an interest in what you like or don't like?  Let me know!



  1. I really like the 2003 Topps design as well-I didn't think about that similarity with the 84 Topps set.

  2. I don't know if my favorites would match your but I don't think we would be far off on the worst. I am going to have to give this some thought and take my own stand.

    1. Its fun to really see what people like and dont like! Cant wait to read your favs and not so favs

  3. you are right about the 74's. the horizontal cards in that set have everything below the photo and look much better.


No negative comments please, this blog is for fun and not intended as a business...just a collector giving some views.