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Today on the Panini America Routing Table: Previewing 2012 Absolute Football (Gallery)

September 24, 2012

As per its custom, Panini America’s fabled Routing Table was its resplendent, revealing self earlier today, what with its overflowing supply of printed-out previews for 2012 Absolute Football. Yes, I realize that 2012 Prominence Football releases this week. But when you have a chance to provide a sneak peek at a big-time product like Absolute, well, you do it.

It’s been awhile since we’ve posted a straight Routing Table preview, so before we get to the Absolute images, it’s probably worth doing a quick refresher course on just what the Routing Table is.

For such a modestly sized table, the thing is a veritable goldmine of product-previewing goodness almost every day, filled with an array of Test RIPs, approval routings and other pre-production paperwork that helps every product take shape. It’s a central destination for every department involved in the card-making process. In short, the Panini America Routing Table is the common collecting ground for proofs that will soon enough become some of the most collected cards in the country.

Approval routings, as their name suggests, are essentially early, copy-paper drafts of trading cards that require the initialed approval internally from members of the Panini America photo, editorial, prepress, marketing and design teams. Once they have that, they’re sent to the appropriate licensing office — primarily electronically but occasionally via expedited air shipping — for the most important seal of approval.

“Test RIPs” (sometimes called “match prints”) are laminate color-proof files that provide anyone looking with the closest representation possible of what the final printed card will look like.

Keep in mind, now as always, that some of the images you’re about to see include extremely preliminary concepts that incorporate player and team names intended for sizing or design purposes only. So when you see, for instance, a mismatched player or team name, don’t be alarmed. As we say in the business, such things at this early stage are “FPO” (for position only). Many times, though, they’re for your viewing enjoyment, too.

To be sure, the Panini America Routing Table provides a viewing buffet virtually every time I pass by it. And that certainly was the case again today with these early looks at 2012 Absolute Football.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. Joe permalink
    September 24, 2012 3:46 pm

    I will be honest, and I know its obviously not completed here but I dont like it, there a few reasons why but its not gonna change the way it looks so no reason to really list them.

  2. Sport card collectors permalink
    September 24, 2012 3:57 pm

    Nice jpp ! Like what i see so far of this product

  3. Linda Williamson permalink
    September 24, 2012 4:17 pm

    My fave of all time.i will be looking 2 complete a set out of this program.and when i have accomplished this i will upload pics on the knights lance.

  4. Daniel Roof permalink
    September 24, 2012 5:59 pm

    Tracy where are the RPM’s?

    • September 24, 2012 6:14 pm

      Will try to get some sneak peeks of those ASAP.

      • Daniel Roof permalink
        September 24, 2012 6:15 pm

        Feel free to send me one of the Andrew Lucks ;)

  5. Jim Carey permalink
    September 24, 2012 6:33 pm

    Tracy will there be a prominence contest?

  6. Jamey permalink
    September 24, 2012 6:39 pm

    Very cool to see the behind the scenes mock-ups and the process behind the product. Thanks Tracy!

  7. September 24, 2012 6:41 pm

    Great preview of one of the top releases of the year, these look like they would be interesting collectibles on their own! Thanks Tracy!

  8. September 25, 2012 6:35 pm

    I like getting an in-process look at the production of the cards. Question: At the National, cards in your redemption packs were included that were one color, but not printing plates. Where do they fall in the production process??

    • September 25, 2012 8:20 pm

      Those are called progressions. They’re typically among the first sheets on the press and are printed in order to ensure the colors are in register.

  9. David Gonzalez permalink
    October 1, 2012 4:03 pm

    are there gonna be retail “rookie jersey collection” cards this year?

  10. Alan H. permalink
    October 24, 2012 9:22 am

    Okay,this definitely piques my interest! Gotta ask though: is there any chance at all that we may see some veteran Seahawks players make a memorabilia swatch set like “Absolute Patches” or “Tools of the Trade” this year? Possibly next year? Would really love to see Marshawn Lynch make an Absolute Patches checklist.

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