Friday, September 24, 2021

A Year of Topps Designs: 1978

 I have cards from Topps's 1978 baseball, football and basketball sets. The baseball design has a clean, classic look with lots of room for the photo. Football and basketball both have the team names going up the side, but that's where the similarities end. The football set is kind of plain, while the hoops set is "jazzed up" with an interesting font for the team name, and the small headshot photo in the corner.

I don't have any of this hockey set in my possession. It's a fun-looking set. The top left corner is rarely used as the only design element on a card, so it's a pretty unique look.

Once again, the soccer set re-used an American design, in this case the 1977 American football set.

No doubt buoyed by the enormous success of Star Wars in 1977, Topps tried to cover the movie market with four big releases. The designs on these are all very similar, with the logo in the bottom left corner and the card title along the bottom.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind has a black border with red outline.

Grease had pink borders (and green in a second series) with a white outline.
Jaws also used black, though with a yellow outline. The shark fin shape for the logo helps it stand out a bit.
Superman has a metallic silver/gray border with a red outline.

There was more variety with their three big TV releases. I have a card from the Mork & Mindy set, which features cartoon word balloons, similar to some past Topps TV sets.

Three's Company got a sticker set that was pretty similar to the four movie sets, though with a thicker outline.

Finally, Battlestar Galactica. It's a simple design; but, other than baseball and Superman, it's the only new set design that Topps put out in '78 that did not have a curved rectangle as the border for the photo.


  1. 1978 topps baseball and football were/are my jam. these are what baseball and football card designs should be in my mind as i collected the heck out of those sets back then. i can see a lot of the baseball design in the movie cards.

  2. The soccer card design is probably my favorite... even if it's just a copy from the year before. The basketball design is really nice too. I've always liked the two photos for the price of one idea. And the baseball design is definitely a classic with the cursive.

  3. The Jaws 2 design is one of my favorite non-sport designs ever. It's just too bad that a lot of the cards from the set are kind of boring photo-wise.