Sunday, November 8, 2009

Define the design: 73T, 76T, 08T

First off, I would like to say, a hearty, long-overdue, much-deserved congratulations to ...

Heh, heh. Don't worry. I'm not congratulating them. They'll be patting themselves on the back long into next year. They don't need me. So, instead, I've decided to ignore them. And it may last all the way through 2010.

(However, if I happen to hear one more Yankee say, "it's been a long time," I am going to set out to play every lottery and visit every casino in the country for the REST OF MY LIFE until I win enough to buy a baseball team. Then I'm going to pool my vast cash-laden resources with a few richy-rich Cubs fans who really know what "a long time" means, rename my club the Antiyankees, and make the team's mission statement as follows: "We will do everything possible to make sure the Yankees don't win again until every other team has won 27 World Series titles.")

No, my congratulations are going to the 2008 Topps set, whose design will now be known as the "circus circles" design. The name reflects the colorful backdrop behind the team name, which resembles old-style circus advertisements.

I think that's a pretty obvious name for the design, but if someone has something better, I'm listening.

I'd also like to hear folks' ideas for a design name for this set:

The 1973 Topps set. It's a simple design, especially when you compare it with the set from the previous year. The '73 set is probably most identifiable by its position logo.

But that brings up the question: If we name the '73 design after its position logo, then what do we name the '76 Topps design?

It's also a design that featured a tiny drawing for each of the positions. Perhaps a name focusing on the two-tone bars at the bottom works better for this set.

But that's what I'm looking for: a name for both the '73 and '76 Topps sets. I haven't come up with anything myself, so I really need some ideas.

No prizes this time, since there's already a contest going on at NOC right now. But I'm thinking of adding the names of the people who came up with the designs to my "Define the Design" sidebar. That means you have the chance to be forever immortalized on "Night Owl Cards." You know, like those paper shamrocks with people's names on them that they plaster all over the wall at Kmart around St. Patrick's Day?

Yeah, I know. Whoopee.


  1. I called '08 Topps "Circus retro" when I first saw the design. That damn set has almost completely soured me on Topps' base set so now I'd call it mud.

    I could be cynical and call '73 Topps "Horrible grainy action photo set" but that's not nice.

    The first thing I think of with '73 is that circle behind the position logo. the first thing I think about '76 Topps are those stripes at the bottom. "Circle" and "stripes" are a little bland so howzabout "Silhouette position set" and The Colorful name stripes set".

    Eeech, those sound bad too. Someone improve on that. Have you done '83 Topps yet? That needs to be the kickass awesome set.

  2. '73 is the Avatar Set; '76 is the ASL Set*

    *American Sign Language; the image in the corner reminds be of deaf signers on a TV program

  3. I always thought of the '08 set as the "Dippin' Dots" set.

  4. As a former employee of Dippin Dots, I agree Nacho

  5. The bottom corner of 1973 Topps reminds me of the opening credits of a James Bond movie, so I am going with "Baseball Diamonds are Forever"

  6. I was going to say "Silhouette set", but dayf beat me to it....I do second his nomination though.

  7. I call 2008 the Circus Balloons set.
    After really looking at the 1973 design, I'd go for something like "Big Name Spotlight set" for the large last names and the position icon.
    1976's color bands have become one of my favorite vintage designs. But the color bands set is kinda lame. Maybe the "Firm Foundation" set because of the solid base to each picture.