Tuesday, September 15, 2009

OooOOOooO! Shiny!

What the fuck? Seriously. Im so fucking sick of companies using mirror board, foil board and especially the rainbow foil board as a coating for their cards. It chips, it looks awful, and the cards are never in acceptable condition out of the pack. This is because every single ding is highlighted by the poor printing process and the crappy coating doesnt highlight the subject of the card. I dont get why it is used, especially when most of us cant fucking stand it.

For those of you who dont understand what I am talking about, pull out one of your cards from Absolute, Leaf Certified, Triple Threads, Elite, Prestige, Threads and a few others that are printed on what seems to be mirror or foil. The cards are pretty tough to miss. They arent printed on cards like the Chrome, where the card is produced on special stock, but more like cheaper stock that looks like the player pictures were printed on wrapping paper and rolled onto the boards. For this, you can see why so many of think this type of shitty printing should disappear.

Because the cards are printed on cheap stock, they become extremely condition sensitive, as well as looking like poop. When the coating is chipped or damaged, especially in production, its almost unavoidable in drawing your attention. Unlike other normal cards, where the coating cannot peel off, a ding is more in the actual stock than the card. For these types, damage usually keeps the printing in tact, rather than looking like it is peeling off. Foil board isnt so lucky, because of the process in which it is printed. You will see that in addition to the stock being damaged, the foil overlay will also pull apart. Because its reflective, a ding is much easier for anyone to recognize due to the breaking of the flat mirrored surface.

The looks are the other part of the equation, as a good card on mirror board looks twice as bad as a bad card on regular flat stock. I cant think of a worse idea to print cards as one printed on a surface that reflects rainbows. Not only that, but the scans are basically impossible to get something that an online collector can appreciate, leading to more problems. If I ever have the choice between a card printed on rainbow board or a card on a flat board like base Topps, ill take the flat every time. That MO is something I know many collectors have adopted in recent years, only because buying boxes of products like Limited, Triple Threads and Absolute lead to getting damaged cards practically 100% of the time.

Panini is obviously the worst offender, as almost every set they produce uses some sort of foil board, with the exception of National Treasures. Im sure for those of you who have ever bought a box of Absolute, you have also pulled a rookie premiere card that is missing part of a letter die cut, or has edges that look like a tiny ding fairy came and hammered in the sides like crazy. You can also go and check out Beckett's crapfully displayed preview for the 2009 set, and really get a good idea what to expect. Remember, those preview cards are supposed to be the BEST ones they can find. Go check it out, im going to guarantee you have the same idea I had. The first thing I thought was, "If these are the best, holy fuck."

Lets be honest here, 15 years ago collectors liked shiny things and were impressed by a card that took it to a level that hadnt been done. Now, we are more impressed by cool design elements rather than some crappy board you have stockpiledd in the back room from 1998. I think most people agree that cards like the Rookie Premiere Material cards from Absolute, the Freshman Fabrics from Certified, or the Phenoms in Limited would be that much cooler if they didnt look like you were looking into a mirror with rainbow accents. Imagine those cards on a flat stock with brighter colors and clearer elements. Its ridiculous how much better that would be.

Of course the morons who produce each of Donruss' releases are running around with blinders on as usual, thinking that their horrid design team has great ideas, rather than accepting the fact that the tech is old and rotting. "You mean we could go back to the drawing board and do the work to make a good set, or we could do it like last year and hit the links? Huh, thats an easy one."

Foil is the work of hacks, and its starting to reek of laziness across the board. Instead of putting out cards that actually look good, its seeming like the companies are using the foil to hide a bad design. Because the colors are dulled and the design becomes obscured, its not as obvious how crappy the card really looks. Lets get rid of the mirrors, rainbows, bright neon orange, and all the other tricks. Start doing better. Make cards look good. Its that simple.

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