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Monday, February 28, 2011

2011 Allen & Ginter Design Origins

The 2011 design for A&G is out. The first place I saw it was at Drew's Cards. Many others may have posted it first, but as far as I'm concerned Drew scooped 'em. If you are slighted or offended by this assertion, post your superior link in the comments.

I am fond of checking out the Allen & Ginter designs and trying to see the inspiration for the set. This was easy from 2006-2008, but recently it's gotten complicated. Here's my 2009 design review featuring the N16 and N22 sets. In 2010 I thought A&G mashed up N22 with N2 and N3. Here's the 2011 design:

Yeah. There is not a single card from the 19th century that even remotely looks like this. There are bits and snippets though. Obviously the picture with the pastel smudge in the background fits in with the A&G ethos. The Allen & Ginter logo doesn't really match any of the original fonts used but if Ol' Mr. Ginter had seen it back in 1888 it probably would have been used somewhere. The name in all caps have been seen several times before including...

N2 Famous Indian Chiefs. Topps used a Serif font in 2011 but no biggie. The name moves from underneath the player photo to the top of the card. It looks pretty good so no complaints here. Now as for the background behing the Topps A&G logo, that reminds me of...

the background to N34 The World's Sovereigns. Most of the subjects rulers in this set appear to be posed before some really ornate wallpaper. The curlicue pattern on the bottom reminded me of those backgrounds. I know, I'm really stretching here, but you really have to stretch with this design.

Now as for the border, gold borders are not all that uncommon in the original tobacco series (just look at the card above), but rounded corners just aren't seen. These borders remind me mostly of...

2002 Fleer Greats of the Game Autographs. I'm not saying they're bad looking, I'm just saying they're from the wrong century. Slap O'NEIL on top, replace the irreplaceable autograph with a couple of logos and hey, you've got 2011 A&G. Unfortunately the very first thing I thought of when I saw the new design was none of these three cards. I had a different set in mind. A set I really didn't want to be thinking about when I saw my beloved Allen & Ginter. When I saw the new design I instantly thought of this set:

2006 Fleer. The Fleer is a little more bright and modern looking. Allen & Ginter manages the faux antiquing of the card well. They're not really carbon copies of each other either, no border on Fleer, the logo is on the wrong side... but they still remind me a lot of each other. Actually as I think about it a little more, 2011 A&G kind of looks like the illegitimate love child of 2006 Fleer and...

2005 Cracker Jack. If I knew what those cards were getting up to in my doubles box I would have separated the retro from the base cards.


But yeah, you can quote me as saying
"2011 Allen & Ginter looks like the illegitimate love child of 2005 Cracker Jack and 2006 Fleer " 
You can kiss my f#%$in ass right downtown AND PRINT IT!

So yeah, there's the design. It looks pretty ok. It don't look authentic. But ok nonetheless. You know I'll buy my box just for the blue framed autrorelics. And you will too, don't lie.


Anonymous said...

I don't care about "authentic" - I'm glad they finally came up with a new design.

This is the first Allen & Ginter set I'm looking forward to in years. :)

night owl said...

I agree with whoever said it kind of looks like 2009 Upper Deck.

Not lovin' it.

Nachos Grande said...

Can't please everyone. Most bloggers (not me) seemed to complain that A&G was the same design year in and year out...now they change it quite a bit (yet still keeping parts distinctly A&G) and people don't like that. Screw it, I'll still buy it and everyone can trade me their minis.

Scott Crawford said...

I'm definitely in, and on the hunt for that Chuck Woolery auto! (The Pacquiao auto doesn't suck, either.)

Love the design. I'm with randombaseballstuff.com, as I could care less about the authenticity of the design. We've done that already. As long as they don't make it look like '98 Skybox Thunder (a fine set, don't get me wrong) and have some elements of the old cards in the design, I'm good.

Very curious as to whether the blurb on the Flora cards is true. "Plant this card & watch it grow!"? Seeds embedded in an easily degradable card? If they print enough of them so that people feel comfortable destroying a baseball card and creating a flower, that would be one of the coolest things that any card company's ever done. If they end up being pricey, that'd suck, because almost no one would plant it.

Chris Harris said...

That's funny, I was thinking more of 2007 Fleer than 2006.

But if you wanna rip somebody, rip my fuckin' ass. But don't rip them fuckin' guys 'cause they're givin' everything they can give. And right now they're tryin' to do more than God gave 'em, and that's why we make the simple mistakes. That's exactly why.

Cardsplitter said...

After a bit more looking, I kind of like it. I think the departure in design will mess up the chi of my Amalgamated Allen and Ginter Miniature Set though.

And I still think it looks like '09 UD.

I am sure the flower minis are plantable, my daughter got some barbi valentines that you could plant. That is an awesome idea, almost one ups UD's Bug cards.

Joshua said...

Following up on the "plant a card" thoughts, I've seen business cards that use a similar gimmick (says something like "grow your business with us!"). The grain of the cardstock of those business cards looks very similar to that of the Flora of the World cards. I would assume, then, that the seeds embedded are those of the featured flower?

Nathan said...

I don't have any problem with them modernizing the design a bit. In fact, as many have already pointed out, it probably needed to be done. My problem is just with the design itself...it's not good.

The bottom of the base card is too crowded and the fonts look cheap. The colors don't match the picture on the card and the red line across the bottom is completely unnecessary.

Maybe they'll look better live, and maybe the base from other teams will look a bit more cohesive, but from this particular image (the Hamilton) I really don't like what I'm seeing.

The autos and relics are awesome as always as not much has changed with them.

Unknown said...

Something good planned for my card!!

1967ers said...

I think it's one of those designs I want to see in person before passing judgment. Judging from scans, I thought 1972 was the ugliest things I'd ever seen. Saw them in person and now they're my favourites.

Can we put blogroll links here? Well, let's rephrase and apologize if I'm not supposed to put them here.