Feel-Good Story: The Tangible Difference of 2011-12 Past & Present Basketball (Gallery)
Remember last weekend, when The Knight’s Lance previewed digital images of the captivating Fireworks and Raining 3s inserts that will begin packing out inside Panini America’s 2011-12 Past & Present Basketball early next week?
At the time, I was grasping for ways to describe the planned uniqueness of these two sets, using phrases like “wow-factor printing technology,” “high-gloss, spot-UV,” “raised relief” and “tangible dimensions.” I also noted last weekend that neither words nor flat-scanned JPGs could truly do these beauties justice. But today I found something that could.
Just outside of Panini America VP of Marketing Jason Howarth’s office, I unintentionally ambled into a high-powered powwow that included VP of Production Stephanie Carlson, NBA Brand Managers David Porter and Keith Hower, and one impeccable uncut sheet of, well, wow-factor printing technology.
After a few sincere “ooohs” and “aaahs,” I managed to commandeer the “100-up form” from Carlson and spent several quality minutes staring at it, touching it, photographing it and otherwise appreciating it. This particular sheet included finished examples of Raining 3s and almost-finished examples of Fireworks. But much to my delight, it also delivered final versions of the equally tangibly gifted Breakout and Changing Times inserts.
To me, the cards — which required no less than six different passes through the press before completion — are simply sublime, seemingly inspired by Action Packed but with a matte (or soft-touch) finish that makes the glossy effects that much more striking. Of course, the fact that Breakout has an autograph parallel probably won’t hurt the pop appeal, either.
Truth be told, I could struggle all day in this feeble attempt to tell you what to expect; or I could simply show you — now that I have the chance — and let these unique inserts speak for themselves. I think you’ll like what they have to say.
Stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance next week for additional coverage of 2011-12 Past & Present Basketball.