I've always been interested in coming up with names to define the look of each of the major sets that Topps, and then later Fleer, Donruss, Score, Upper Deck, etc., issued each year. Some, like 1970 Topps (gray border) and 1971 Topps (black border) are easy.
But some are more difficult, like the 1968 Topps set. I've heard the design of this set described most often one of two ways. The first is the "couch cushion" design. The second is the "old Zenith console TV design."
I always called it the "grandma's kitchen wallpaper" design, because I thought that's what it looked like -- drab, old-style wallpaper that one would only put in a kitchen because the color would best hide splattered food stains.
This is probably one of my least favorite Topps designs. It's got to be in the bottom 5. Probably because I was equating it with old splattered gravy stains. I could never understand why Topps came up with that design. I was barely alive in the '60s, so I don't know what Topps' inspiration was.
I know 1968 is going back a ways, but does anyone else know how Topps came up with the look for these cards? And more importantly, how would you sum up this design? If you had to describe the 1968 Jim "Mudcat" Grant card to someone who had never seen a '68 card before, what would you say?
For me it would be: "You know that wallpaper your grandmother had hanging in the kitchen? ..."