Monday, January 3, 2011

Cardboard Creations: 1954-55 Topps

It's been quite a while now since I've been able to share any of my custom card designs as I've just been far too busy with finishing up college and starting my new job. To help keep these coming faster, I've decided to focus on sets of nine cards at a time.

I also want to change up the format of these posts. Instead of just showing all nine of them together, I want to take one and show a larger image to describe the details of each design. Also, if my design is a recreation, I want to show the original as a comparison. 

For my latest creation, I settled on recreating the 1954-55 Topps set. I decided to do this set after coming across some 2000-01 Topps Heritage cards while searching through my collection, which are based on the 1954-55 design. 

First, here is the original 1954-55 version and the 2000-01 Topps Heritage version: 

As you can see, there is not much difference between the two, other than the background color and the size of the team logo. Both sets have the sprayed ice effect, it's just not used on the DiPietro. 

Now, here's the Jimmy Howard I came up with:  

Despite how simple these cards look, they actually took me quite a while to put together with Inkscape. I started with a 500 x 700 px background and made that the nicer tan color from the original 1955 set. I then added the blue and red bars across the bottom, right on top of the background, also with the 1955 colors.  

Surprisingly, it wasn't all that difficult to find fonts that matched the originals. I ended up using Playbill for the player name, Rockwell for the position, and Arial for the team name at the bottom. 

The next step was choosing the images I wanted to use. I couldn't use just any picture, as I had to be able to center them to some extent, so this took a little bit of searching the internet for the right ones. 

Once they were all chosen, I needed to import them into Inkscape and manually clip the player from the background. After that, I decided to add the shadow effect behind the images, just to do something a little different. 

One thing I really wanted to use was the facsimile autographs. This was slightly difficult because I had to import an image of each signature and manually trace it. This allowed me to keep them all the same color and line weight. 

The last step was adding the team logos. I made them a bit smaller than in the other two designs, only because I didn't want them to interfere with the player images at all. 

Now here are all nine of them together: 

A little extra effort on this custom set definitely paid off as I think it is the best I've done so far in terms of recreating existing set designs. I only have the nine as of right now, but I may end up deciding to do the full 27 like I did for previous recreation projects. 


  1. those are awesome!

    I've never used Inkscape... but how did you clip the player from the background so cleanly? And how did you get the facsimilie autographs???

    I use and Photoshop Elements 7.0, but I'm not very good on that...

  2. It's a painstakingly long process. I draw a quick outline through connected points then fine tune the curves manually.

    I made the facsimile autos by tracing the auto from an actual scanned card. I used the same connected points, only for these there were no closed loops.

  3. If you ever want to try Inkscape. You can donwload it for free here.

  4. very nice customs!!If you want the wings cards from my 10-11 Donruss break you can email me your addy and I'll send you them(

  5. Fantastic. Those look almost better than the originals. Did you actually produce the cards or are they still a concept design? That would make an awesome goalie only set.

    I have never heard of Inkscape. I will have to check it out.

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  7. I removed my comment becuase I didnt know how to edit but, is the Howe card yours? Or is it someone elses scan? I like the Topps Heritage set, and your creation looks pretty sick too!

  8. No, the Howe isn't mine. I just used a scan I found by searching the internet.

  9. Oh ok...haha...too bad...
    Btw its Howard vs. Luongo tonight!!
    Should be a great game, good luck!

  10. Nice job!

    Another baseball custom blog, Goose Joak, uses Pixlr (downloadable at

    I haven't tried it yet. Still using an ancient version of PaintShopPro, that doesn't do layers.