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