Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cardboard Creations: Fractal Masks

It's been almost four months since I've been able to share any of my custom card designs, and almost a year since my Masked Men custom set. I think you can see from the title why that's significant.

I love goalie masks and my Masked Men set was an attempt to showcase some of the cooler masks over the years in the NHL.

That being said, since I finished that set I've wanted to do more custom goalie mask cards. That's where the idea for my new custom set, Fractal Masks, comes from.

The biggest difference between Masked Men and Fractal Masks is the focus placed on the masks themselves. With this set, I decided to crop out the masks, kind of like the old Pinnacle and BAP Mask cards.

As far as the fractal part of the name, that's what I used for the background of each card. However, unlike the Pinnacle and BAP cards, I wanted to find a fractal that worked with each mask, rather than have the same generic background for all of the cards.

Fractals come in all kinds of shapes and colors, so they work perfect for this kind of project. Most of the ones from this set from Caedes, a site I've been using for years to get desktop backgrounds.

Here's a look at my favorite of the first nine:

The first thing you might notice that's different than other Masks sets is the inclusion of the goalie's name and the logo of the team with which the mask was worn. 

This particular mask, worn by former NHL goaltender Scott Langkow with the Krefeld Pinguine of the DEL, features a theme from one of my all-time favorite movies, Transformers. I love the use of the Bumblebee Camaro and nothing beats the Autobot logo. 

Now, here's the first nine together: 

As you can see, there's a nice mix of old and new masks here. If you look close, you can see that the Miller and Tellqvist are the only two that include the straps. This is because those are the only two I cropped from actual photos of the masks in action. 

The straps are absent from the others because they all came from well-known mask artist David Gunnarsson's website, where he has a nice photo gallery of each mask before the straps are added. 

Beyond Langkow's Transformers mask, it's hard to pick a favorite from this group. How cool is Lehtonen's Chuck Norris mask, or Ellis' new zombie duck mask? They're all awesome. 

I'm definitely glad I chose to use a different fractal background for each mask, as it gives the set a bit of variety and color when you put a bunch of them together like this. 

Now that I've seen these first nine together, I plan on making more, maybe not as many as the Masked Men set, as these take a bit more work. I also plan on including more masks from the European and minor North American leagues, like the Langkow, because awesome mask art is not limited to just the NHL.

So what do you guys think? Are these an upgrade over my Masked Men customs from last year? Have any design suggestions or mask recommendations?


  1. Love them!!!!!

    I really like how you have decided to create each card individually rather than use the same background. The background works with the masks quite well. The Bernier being my favorite.

    Very much looking forward to seeing more.

  2. these are awesome! well done as usual my friend. I love playing around making customs, but after seeing your stuff, mine just sucks!

    keep 'em coming!!!

  3. These are awesome... contact Panini and become part of their design team.

  4. They look great! I'm particularly fond of the Lehtonen one.

  5. Why aren't you creating these for UD or Panini? These designs are amazing.

  6. Thanks for the comments guys, I really appreciate the positive feedback.