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Panini, what’s good?

It’s been about 1 1/4 season’s worth of Panini now as the sole manufacturer of basketball cards. I’ve been waiting to see what designs they come up with before I decided to write anything positive/negative about them. I feel that they have some good, but mostly bland designs/concepts for their autographed cards. All of the Panini designs feel too similar to each other for any to really stand out. I give them an overall grade of a C+. I think that the lack of silver/gold foil (like Upper Deck used) makes Panini cards look somewhat inferior. The use of single colors without any textured patterns leaves the cards looking uninspired. It works for the retro themed insert sets, but looks plain on everything. Their design team doesn’t seem to utilize layers when coming up with backgrounds.  One thing that bothers me is that they don’t always include the team logo on the front of their cards.  I think that is a must.  It makes the card look more official.

There are nine designs that have caught my eye though, and for this, I will give Panini praise.
99 Panini Next Day Signatures
I like this for the simplicity. This set utilizes nice photography and is on card, so that helps tremendously. The fact that is is super rare adds to the appeal to me as well.

09 Prestige Old School
I like the shooting stars, I like the beige/brown/red/orange/yellow color scheme. I think the font works perfectly for the theme. It reminds me of 1970’s movie posters.

09 Studio Heritage
This is somewhat similar to the Old School set, with a similar font. Again I think the plain colors work because of the theme. The two big Os in the background give it some dimension.

09 Classic
I like that the framing around the photo gives it a museum type look, while the black name plate gives it plaque-feel to the lower portion.

09 Studio Kings
Painting cards are always cool, because they are different.  The bottom portion resembles something military, with the navy color and seal/stripes.  I wish these were on cards autographs.

10 Crown Royale
I love the die cut crown at the top. This would be killer if it it was gold foil, like the old versions were.  The checkerboard background provides nice contrast.  On top of all that, the autographs are on card.

10 Crown Royale Majestic Signatures
This may be my favorite design.   I love the color scheme.  I love the diecut basketball shape and the horizontal view. The ball reminds me of the ABA days and the player selection is nice.

10 Limited Next Day
I really like the black background with white spotlight circle behind the player. The light directly behind the player casts a white glow along the player’s silhouette which gives nice dimension to the card.

10 Panini HOF Dream Team
Its The Dream Team. The design is nice – not to simplistic, not over crowding the autograph. I like the prominence of the USA logo, as well as the Hall of Fame logo in the corner.  The only flaw is not having the entire team.

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  1. December 14, 2010 at 10:19 pm

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