One of my favorite products each year is the base Topps set, as it sets the tone for many of the products that they release over the course of the year. I think that Topps has seen exponential growth in the design chops displayed in the 2010-2012 sets, and this year’s design is right in line with that growth.
I am a very big fan of the way these cards are structured as the name plate allows for the best possible situation with any rookie autographs that will be applied with this design. Topps and Topps chrome’s success depends highly on the way each rookie is presented, along with their signature, and very much like last year, this design works perfectly. The 2012 design was almost a poster child for how the cards should look, as it worked out beyond well for the autographs in both base and Chrome.
It also allows for similar bordering that gives maximum potential to the different parallels that have made Topps and Topps Chrome so successful over the years. I am actually surprised how easily Topps is able to fashion new looks year after year, as things can actually become pretty stale without going to a fresh start each year.
The best thing about the last two years has been that Topps decided to further separate the baseball design from the football design (here is the 2013 baseball design for reference). It was something I was originally against, but after seeing that there are intrinsic details that cant transfer between the sports, having separate designs is hugely beneficial. With more of a fluid design this year, including the wavy style name plates, this design works extremely to the advantage of collectors who like to keep the soul of the base set.
Topps has made a commitment to design excellence over the last couple of years, and that type of dedication will need to continue in order to suppliment this draft class’ lower tier offense prospect base. I am guessing that there will be lots of surprises like the 1984 autos from last year that will knock our socks off, and I cant wait to see what they come up with.