Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Lines in Designs

One of the dangers of producing a number of insert sets (or, in the case of the junk-wax era, small boxed sets) during a given year is the lack of continuity between them, making it darn near impossible to remember what year each insert was released. I certainly don't want to see every set homogenized, but how about a motif in the design- some pattern that ties each insert set to the base set.

I've never been a big fan of Fleer, but one thing they did well, even if only for a couple of years, was create boxed sets that somewhat mirrored what they were doing with their base set. This is most evident in 1988 and 1989 Fleer baseball.

Fleer made heavy use of stripes/lines in their designs for those two years and the results were some of my favorite offerings from the company- behind only the 1994 Fleer baseball product. 

My favorite design from these two years was found on the 1988 Award Winners set, which is, you guessed it, quite similar to the '86-'87 NBA cards.

Not only have I not been a big fan of Fleer over the years, but I also haven't been one to go ga-ga over the use of a lot of color in the designs (I'm frowning at you, most Score products and 1975 and 1990 Topps!!!), but once again- I like what Fleer did with these sets. I can't explain it, so I won't even try.

Did the card manufacturer pull each year off perfectly? No- the '88 Baseball's All-Stars and '88 Baseball's League Leader cards would have worked better in the 1989 set (and the '89 Baseball's Exciting Stars design would have looked better in the '88 sets)- but overall, I give the company an overall A- in their creativity during this time. Even if their 1990 base design is one of the worst designs ever (based soley on the use of gray).

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