A dash of color

I’ve been loving acquiring cards of the New York Giants. As a child, I never thought I’d ever own any of these so I’m trying to hold on to that thrill every time a card I never thought I’d own enters my collection.

Yet as positive an experience as this has been, I can’t help but complain a little. For example, 1954 Topps is a wonderfully colored set with large painted headshots of the player placed in front of a brightly colored background with a facsimile autograph and small black and white action photo layered over everything. It’s a design I really like—even with the weird single bleed that results in the backs being different orientations.* Unfortunately the Giants cards are all yellow and white.

*Seriously check the print sheet.

Yellow and white are still nice enough but they do not capture the full glory of the set. As a result I’ve been a bit tongue-in-cheek vocal about how I wish my binder had a couple more colors represented. Lanny (who else) heard my comments and last week dropped a plain white envelope into my mailbox consisting of a few wonderfully colorful 1954 Topps cards.

These all had an encounter with some water way back when but aside from being a bit wavy they’re not that bad. If anything being completely water damaged is preferable to partial water damage since these just feel like they need to be flattened under a heavy book. Anyway I’ve not only seen much worse, I own much worse.

Look at those colors though. The cards may be wavy but the printing presents really really well. The Lepcio in particular is beautiful with the red Band the light blue background just working together perfectly.

I like seeing these old cards for printing reasons too. I love being able to loupe old cards and see how the colors were actually created. Louping these, the blue is a 40% Cyan-only screen. Orange is 40% Magenta, 100% Yellow. Red is 100% Magenta, 100% Yellow. With the 100% Yellow cards (and the green being a significant amount of yellow) that means that the yellow plate was mostly solid.

When I posted these on Twitter someone pointed out that Lepcio and Robinson are both really good TTM guys. I don’t normally like facsimile autographs mixed with real autographs but 1950s cards feel like a different category here. Should I send them out and try or should I just put them in the binder and try and get a green card for the complete rainbow?

Decisions decisions decisions.

Anyway thanks Lanny let’s see what the rainbow looks like now.

Author: Nick Vossbrink

Blogging about Photography, Museums, Printing, and Baseball Cards from both Princeton New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area. On Twitter as @vossbrink, WordPress at njwv.wordpress.com, and the web at vossbrink.net

2 thoughts on “A dash of color”

  1. Now that I think of it, I’ve never actually seen someone line up the different color backgrounds from ’54 Topps in a single post before. With all the other bells and whistles from ’50s Topps, I don’t think I’d quite put much thought into the colorfulness of this set. Very cool.

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