I have said before that the design for this year’s certified makes the eyesores from previous years look like freaking picassos. Despite this fact, we had yet to see the way the main box hits from the product actually looks, and after a recent post on Panini’s blog I understand why that may have been the case. Certified has been a collector favorite for years, despite the product having some of the worst designs I have ever seen, and I don’t think the people who love panini’s normal bedazzled foil lineup will have any thing to complain about. I, on the other hand, have a few things I think need to be talked about.
For the first time in a very long time the freshman fabric cards are horizontally oriented, something that COULD have turned out extremely awesome. When you work with four swatches on a vertical card, there is very little room for any design elements to effectively complement the card. The player photo almost ALWAYS has to be ridiculously tiny, and most of the time that doesn’t work out well. You could imagine my excitement upon learning that this would not be the case this year. Then I saw the cards.
Aside from my obvious gripes with the hideous rainbow foil, I am not a fan of player pictures that don’t feature action shots. That feeling gets worse when the non-action shots are glamor shots posed photos. Instead of having the guy chilling in his football gear, helmet off, yet in a game like situation, these are helmet off studio shots with the player directly acknowledging the camera. I cannot stand this. I have said before that football players are known by their uniforms, not their faces, an image issue that is completely unique to this sport. That means that most of the time when you get a helmet off photo, it looks horrendously goofy. This is definitely the case here.
You also get a third product that features some of the worst available swatches in all of card-dom, event used footballs, and I cant even begin to describe my displeasure that these things keep making it into the sets. Its one thing to use a swatch from a jersey worn by the player (even for a few seconds), but a football that is thrown around for a matter of two tosses? Go fuck yourselves if you think that is acceptable. Panini is the only company left that uses these as part of their sets, and I hate it.
On top of that, like in 2010 Threads, the text is not adjusted for a horizontal card, thus making the words look like they are oddly crawling up the side. It just doesn’t look right. You would think that with all of this space they would have found a place to put the text, but obviously that was not taken into consideration in the slightest.
Lastly, I have no idea why the autos werent given a better space to be attached. If you are going to use stickers, something I hate as well, at least use them in a spot where they can be seen. From what we can tell here, that memo was not conveyed to the workers who affixed the stickers. Who knows, maybe it will be better in person.
Regardless of how many logos Panini wants to slap on these mirror black cards, people will chase them because they have no regard for how the card looks. Although this design had potential because of the changes that were made to the concept, it did not turn out very well. Plus, these are only the highest value parallel. In previous years, there were five to ten others, so what will these look like when there are only two or three swatches? Im guessing we are going to have floating swatch city, although Ill reserve judgment until I see the final layout of the product.
So far, color me completely unimpressed and bored.