An In-Depth Look Into 2023 Topps Cosmic Chrome Baseball
Last year’s debut of Topps Cosmic Chrome Baseball was not merely another card release. It was an ambitious attempt to marry the world of baseball with the vast and wondrous cosmos. As we gear up for the 2023 edition, Topps Art Director Arvin Catriz offers a glimpse into the design evolution, drawing from nostalgia and the universe’s beauty.
Building An Empire
When asked about the distinction between the series’ two editions, Catriz said, “Last year being our inaugural release of Cosmic Chrome, we wanted to make a splash and put out something exciting and new for our fans.” And true to his words, 2023 builds on that initial splash, aiming to offer “even more exciting designs and new unique inserts.” Combining baseball and cosmic elements was a heartfelt endeavor for Catiz. “I grew up being a huge fan of ’90s aesthetics and graphics,” he said, revealing the inspiration behind the cosmic theme, “I wanted to make something that generated the same feeling and excitement for our fans.”
Eager series fans can anticipate standout inserts such as the Stars in the Night and Planetary Pursuit. But with innovation comes challenges. According to Catriz, the Cosmic Chrome Autographs was the most enthralling yet demanding design: “I love working on these kinds of cards because it really allows me to let loose as an artist,” he said. The design sought to “have some elements interact with the player imagery, making it look like they are floating over or around them.”
Inspired By Nostalgia
Echoing the sentiments of many a ’90s child, Catriz highlighted the influence of his personal collections on the designs, particularly Trapper Keepers. Look ahead to next year and beyond, Catriz remains tight-lipped but assures fans of more surprises, hinting at “even crazier, out of this world looking designs.” With the brilliance of the Cosmic Chrome series, it’s clear that the universe is not the final frontier; it’s merely the canvas for Catriz and his team at Topps.
Putting in Work
Introducing an innovative theme and design is no easy task in a sport steeped in tradition. Catriz’s design philosophy seamlessly balances this duality: “I always throw around this term ‘retro/classic but modern.’ I think that sums up our approach to designing products like Cosmic Chrome. You kind of have to find a happy balance between the two looks and then give it a twist.” Interestingly, while many designers lean heavily on the latest design tools, Catriz offers a candid take: “Not really new design tools, but just good old fashioned creativity and elbow grease. I think it’s more about the growth and experience of an artist that contributes to the evolution of designs year over year.”
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