Home > NEWS > Panini Creative Director critiques my designs!

Panini Creative Director critiques my designs!

A little while back I asked Tracy Hackler from Panini to know what the creative team from Panini thought about some of the stuff I’ve been creating. He was out traveling for a while so he didn’t get back to me until a few days ago.

He spoke with the Creative Director of Panini who offered this to me, via an email forwarded to me by Tracy.

I have to say, I am thoroughly amazed by the time he took to respond to me, and I gotta admit that I love that he actually went in depth and offered me outlets to improve my creativity. If they are reading this, I just want to say thank you again, to Tracy and Brandon for offering their insights to me!

I’m posting this private email, with permission from Tracy.

Thank you for your passionate interest in basketball cards and your love of design. Tracy has asked me to give you some constructive criticism of your custom designs that you have put on your blog for critique.

Some of the things that many collectors do not realize are the budgetary, time and legal restrictions we have on our projects that we have to design. There are too many to mention in one email but the learning curve for an average designer coming from a formal graphic design education is approximately one year.

That being said, here are some of things that we noticed in your designs. We looked at them as a team so we can fairly assess a group opinion on your work.

Typography : Many of the designs lack a strong grasp of typography. There are a lot of rules in typography which consist of style, application and formality. Most of the designs have an undisciplined approach to the assignment of player names, team names, etc. Also, the NBA will not approve abbreviations of team names.

Color Theory: There does not appear to be much on the application of colour theory in the cards. They are very busy visually and there does not seem to be any real heirarchy. In many case, they are visual puzzles that most people will not try to figure out as they try to separate the players from the backgrounds.

Design Heirachy/Conceptual Ideas: While some of the cards have some strong layout elements (Arena Icons, Dome shots), most do not. What most collectors do not understand is that a design has to fit with all the photography available for a certain player. Many of these are custom cards and would not translate if there were a 40 player checklist that the Photography team had to fit photos into.

As far as the concepts go, our Creative Team does not come up with insert names, we simply execute the ideas of the Product Development Team. I would prefer to not give feedback on something that we are not responsible for executing.

I have attached some links to some reading material that could help with you learning design formally. I hope it helps. Feel free to ask me any questions that are design related and I’ll try my best to help you grow into the designer I know you are aspiring to be.


Best regards,
Brandon Lesley

Categories: NEWS
  1. May 31, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Interesting that they actually critiqued your stuff, though I’m not sure Panini’s bunch of designers are the most qualified to judge.

  2. June 9, 2011 at 4:26 am

    i really appreciate the tips and guidelines given. and the honesty too. no one cares for condescending faux praise right? respect.

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