Diving Into the Design of 2023 Topps Chrome UEFA Women’s Champions League
Back for its second year, the 2023 Topps Chrome® UEFA Women’s Champions League collection showcases elite women’s players from the UWCL Group Stages. The set boasts a 100-card Base, several new inserts, and innovations that keep Topps Chrome products ahead of the curve. Keep an eye out for the special Fierce case hits highlighting league superstars. Ryan Lee, the art director for 2023 Topps Chrome UEFA Women’s Champions League, shared the creative process that brought this year’s set to life.
There’s an undoubted air of royal reverence in this year’s set, manifesting in two novel subsets: Crowning Moments and Queens of Football. Lee explains, “Both subsets carry an air of royalty. While Crowning Moments infuses a modern-day essence, Queens of Football echoes a Renaissance era, akin to a museum painting.” The popular insert Golazo also makes its UWCL debut. Conversely, Fierce, returning from the 2022 set, captures the raw, unbridled prowess of the athletes. “Our designs focus on illuminating the athletes’ strengths in unprecedented ways,” Lee emphasizes.
Building a Legacy
A striking feature in the 2023 collection is the evolved Fierce. This design seamlessly merges action photography with graphical elements. “I wanted to emphasize action photography because I wanted the design to match the intensity of the athlete’s actions, their poses, their faces in celebration. I wanted to use fire in a completely different manner, and I found inspiration in volcanic eruptions. I was able to compose the players as if they were the source of the eruption, the source of power — helping to match the ferociousness in their image with the scene I’ve designed around them.”
Topps Chrome and UEFA’s collaboration isn’t new, but it’s a partnership marked by mutual respect and understanding. Lee’s experience with UEFA products over the years means he’s adept at meeting the high standards set by UEFA. “Having designed UEFA products for several years now, we’ve gained the knowledge of how to best suit our licensor requirements,” shared Lee. “These requirements are at the forefront of our design process to avoid, at all costs, any unnecessary back-and-forth. Being at the beginning of the trading card process, Art knows where not to push our limits. For UEFA, we know how they like us to treat their brand logos, team logos, team colors, etc.”
The Topps Chrome brand and UEFA are powerhouses in their respective fields, consistently redefining contemporary styles and trends. Lee believes this synergy is what delivers state-of-the-art products year after year. As he reflects on the 2023 edition, Lee’s passion is palpable. “I love being able to design a card and give the athlete their shining moment,” says Lee. “Being able to pull them off the pitch and place them somewhere they would never exist is the fun part of my job. Elevating the athlete, their attributes, the brand, and creating a narrative that makes the card a cohesive thought is my expertise, and with 2023 Topps Chrome Women’s UEFA Champions League, I think we achieved just that.”