I recently received an e-mail from blog reader Jeff, who asked the very good question, "How do you create a custom card template" using a vintage Topps baseball card design? He's thinking about entering this racket himself, so I thought I'd share a few secrets. Actually, they're not really secrets and I'm not a graphic designer in real life, I just play one on this blog.
I use very, very basic graphic design software - MicroSoft Picture It!, which is close to being about 10 years old and is probably just a few short months away from becoming completely unusable and obsolete. At some point in the near future, my custom card making gig may require a short hiatus while I try to learn a new software package. Using my software, here's how a custom baseball card comes to life:
Step 1: Scan a baseball card from the year for which you want to create a custom card. Jeff's e-mail referred specifically to the 1981 Topps design, so that's what I'll use in my example here.
Step 2: I open the scanned image in my software and I begin the process of wiping it clean. I use a tool called "cut-out" which removes all the extra stuff and just leaves me with a blank template. Before I remove any text, I find a comparable text and copy over the existing text. This way, once I wipe the original card clean, the new text remains in the background, at approximately the same font, size and color of the original text.
Step 3: Once I have my clean template, it's easy to drop in a picture of a current Phillies player and update the text to match.