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Thread: Custom Heritage Sets

  1. #1
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    Custom Heritage Sets

    For years I dreamed of Topps reprinting their old sets using modern techniques. When Heritage came along I was excited, but it seems like a blown opportunity. Someone at Topps couldn't do math, so designs are weirdly 49th anniversary. Someone else thought crummy old photos were cool, so they used bad digital filter to approximate old photos and printing techniques in a way that looks fraudulent. And I wouldn't mind paying extra for high numbers if I could field a starting lineup, but even that test is routinely failed. So I started making my own. Not just a few inserts, but entire sets.

    2014 baseball was the first set, based on the 1964 design, but with some action shots mixed in. I stuck with the original colors, which I later regretted. It seems like when Topps adds new teams, they try to align with team colors rather than choosing the bizarre contrasting colors they used in the sixties and seventies.

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    2015 football was the next set. Topps Huddle brought back the 1965 football design for a limited run and I thought it would be interesting to apply it to a larger set. I took a more aggressive approach to design, normalizing the "tall boy" to a normal 3.5 by 2.5 aspect ratio and using complimentary colors.

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    In 2016, I wanted to do a basketball set. Of course Topps didn't do a basketball issue in 2016, so I used the baseball design, which was pretty generic.

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    In 2017, I got to do my favorite baseball design of the sixties. Sourcing images proved more challenging than I expected because there should be some space at the top if you don't want the name covering the hat or face. I went with complimentary colors, which caused some readability issues due to low contrast, but I think Topps faced the same challenge which is why all team names were neon yellow in the 1969 set.

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    2018 was back to football, with an update on the classic Topps design from 1968.

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    That was going to be it, but with LeBron moving to Los Angeles, I had to do another basketball set. Again nothing from Topps for basketball in 1968, other than a short run black and white proof of concept set, so I took the 1968 baseball design and replaced the burlap or whatever, that was so hideous Topps scrapped it mid-set, and replaced it with hardwood.

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    in 2019, I plan to do my first hockey set, but meanwhile, I decided to do a baseball set as well. I'm not a big fan of the 1969 design with the cramped name badge cramping the player photo and all the team names being the same color. It was a notoriously bad set for photos too, with the combination of outdated photos and expansion teams leading to a lot of BHNH (big head, no hat) shots and early proto-airbrushing jobs that looked more like blacking out the cap with a sharpie. Funny thing is that doing a set reveals the good and bad of any format, and the format wasn't all bad.

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    Until now, I've just been "collecting" these cards for myself, but I'm trying to figure out if they are worth sharing, and if so, the best way to do it. The sets are literally hundreds of cards, with the 2019 baseball set raising the bar to 777 cards (25 cards per team, including managers, plus 21 SN all stars and 6 postseason cards).

    So I thought I would post some arrogant criticisms of Topps (their failures in trying to capture the 1972 design suggest they use Fiverr to staff designers) and some samples from my sets and see if anyone thought they were interesting. Thanks for reading!

    Frank

  2. #2
    Senior Member Austin's Avatar
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    Those are awesome and it's impressive that you make entire sets.

    I agree with you not liking the filter that Topps uses to make the photos look "vintage." They just end up looking hazy and off.

    Do you print out the cards or just have the sets stored digitally? It would be cool to have the sets in 9-pocket pages and binders. I guess the card backs with a write-up and stats would be difficult and time consuming though.
    Last edited by Austin; 03-08-2019 at 06:19 AM.
    Set builder, autograph hunter and fan of the Texas Rangers & '50s-'60s Yankees

  3. #3
    Senior Member AnthonyCorona's Avatar
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    A collector does a much better job than the company making big bucks....veryyy shocking! Great work!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Please note: Card collecting is my hobby, not my life. I don't take it that serious and like to keep it fun.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jbhofmann's Avatar
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    Love the '68 hardwood design. Nice stuff.


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    I haven't started printing them, but the files are 525 by 375, so 150dpi at normal trading card size. I began collecting in 1976, so I remember when the backs of cards was how most of us got access to stats, at least until we were old enough to buy a chunky Encyclopedia of Baseball. That said, I can't justify the effort to make backs in the Internet era, unless I was trying to do inserts to add to a "real" set. I respect the people who take that approach. One of my reasons for doing full sets is that my results look consistent. That, and I want to be able to make a full lineup for every team. I "collect" the cards in Keynote (Apple's PowerPoint), so it's easy to thumb through them on an iPad. I also post them as photo galleries on Facebook.

    I have a publishing plan that runs years into the future. Between sets, I work ahead on future templates. Most are faithful to the original designs with a few tweaks for readability, along with team colors. One exception is 2020 Soccer, where I turned the pennant from the 1970 football design into a scarf. Here's a peek at the first part of the publishing plan.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member dano7's Avatar
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    Excellent work and thanks for sharing!!
    Collector of Autographs, TTM autographs, Vintage, Yankees and Mantle
    Sets completed 1955-1965, 1967, 1969, 1951 Topps Red & Blue Back, 1951 Bowman, 1955 Bowman, 1963 Fleer, 1965 Topps Embossed, 1961 Topps Stamps, 1962 Topps Stamps & 1968 Topps Game.
    Yankee needs:Two 1962 Topps stamp pairs. Need T209 Contentnea Roanoke players.dano 7 by Danny Secrist, on Flickr

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    Planning ahead for 2021 and wondering whether to include landscape cards, and if so, how many. As a kid, the landscape cards were my favorites, probably because they were almost always action cards (with the notable exception of Ron Santo looking confused) in an era when the bulk of the photos were still boring poses. But rotating the landscape cards to put them into portrait sleeves, or even mixing them into PowerPoint layouts throws everything off, so I am wondering if I should do a full set of portrait mode cards and include some landscapes as ALT variations. And if so, how many?

    I went back to check the 1971 set. It felt like there were a couple dozen landscape player cards, but I could only find 8.

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    It's hardly worth disrupting the collection layouts to only do 8, but I can't imagine only doing 8. Feels like a limited ALT set is the right answer here.

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    I keep seeing this comment on different forums that they screwed up and it's the 49th anniversary. That's incorrect. It's the 50th anniversary by season. 1952 was the first year of Topps. 2001 was the 50th year of Topps. I don't understand why this is so difficult to comprehend.

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    The season on the back of a heritage card is 49 years after the season on the back of the card it is based on, so it's the 49th anniversary.

    By Topps' logic, you should celebrate your first anniversary the day you get married.

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    Meanwhile, back at the lab...

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    Rough draft, mashing up Topps baseball formats from 1956 and 1976 to make a 2020 Tokyo Olympics card.
    Last edited by BostonIdol; 03-09-2019 at 01:11 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member dano7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BostonIdol View Post
    Meanwhile, back at the lab...

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    Rough draft, mashing up Topps baseball formats from 1956 and 1976 to make a 2020 Tokyo Olympics card.
    Those would be great for TTM autographs. If you print any, let me know!
    Collector of Autographs, TTM autographs, Vintage, Yankees and Mantle
    Sets completed 1955-1965, 1967, 1969, 1951 Topps Red & Blue Back, 1951 Bowman, 1955 Bowman, 1963 Fleer, 1965 Topps Embossed, 1961 Topps Stamps, 1962 Topps Stamps & 1968 Topps Game.
    Yankee needs:Two 1962 Topps stamp pairs. Need T209 Contentnea Roanoke players.dano 7 by Danny Secrist, on Flickr

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BostonIdol View Post
    The season on the back of a heritage card is 49 years after the season on the back of the card it is based on, so it's the 49th anniversary.

    By Topps' logic, you should celebrate your first anniversary the day you get married.

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    Anytime you're talking about number of seasons, you have to include the initial year. Again, it's the 50th anniversary by number of seasons (or sets they've put out), not by years.

    The 1991 Topps set had a "40 years" logo at the top left corner. The 2001 Heritage set is based on "50 years" of baseball cards.

    Don't mean to detract from your great work here. Love the designs. I just think people get confused on this topic, as I don't agree it's a mistake.

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    Not willing to celebrate my first anniversary the same day I get married, but willing to share some all stars.

  14. #14
    Junior Member cardcop05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian26 View Post
    I keep seeing this comment on different forums that they screwed up and it's the 49th anniversary. That's incorrect. It's the 50th anniversary by season. 1952 was the first year of Topps. 2001 was the 50th year of Topps. I don't understand why this is so difficult to comprehend.

    You don't see that it's "so difficult to comprehend", because you CAN'T COMPREHEND IT brian26!

    Almost every card company has SCREWED UP "Anniversary" sets.
    Let me use the marriage Anniversary as an example for slower/ignorant collectors. If you got married in 2009, your 1st Anniversary would be 2010, NOT 2009!. If you don't GET THAT, then don't ever try math again; ask someone else.

    Yet people still wonder why 20-30 years olds who still live at home (and NEVER LEFT) being pampered by their parent/parents: shouldn't be shut-ins, never out playing in the streets when under age 18, living on Social Media and Message Boards, practically no human interaction on their IPhones, I-Pads (you know "I" stands for idiot right?), tablets, laptops, etc. 24/7.
    I don't even use a cell phone... all this "technology" is nonsense to get you to spend more money- so everyone on the planet knows what you are doing 24/7-365 (like anyone with half a brain cares).
    I don't have to fear the future because gladly I definitely won't last that long, and I was smart enough not to make any offspring (on purpose).

    Same holds true for sports cards. 1952 Topps was the first modern day baseball card set. It's 1st Anniversary would be 1953! Therefore the 50th Anniversary would be 2002. COMMON-SENSE NOT COMPREHENSION! Sadly common-sense hasn't been common since the 1950's...
    Be honest, help fix what is wrong with your world, have integrity and empathy; and you live a happy life.

  15. #15
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    In 2015, Topps Huddle did a 50th Anniversary set using the 1965 design, so other than blowing their first Heritage issue and sticking with that formula, even they seem to know better.

    Regardless, I will continue to do 50th Anniversary sets. Next planned set was Hockey...

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    ... but now I am considering doing another football set, despite not being fond of the 1969 format.

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