Friday, December 30, 2022

A Year of Topps Designs: 1956

Topps gave the images plenty of space to shine in 1956. In baseball, Topps improved on their 1955 design by including the backgrounds in the action photos, going from a good design to an all-time great. Unfortunately, football replaced the backgrounds with a wall of solid color, making it seem quite dull in comparison.

Topps didn't put out any other sports cards in 1956, but did very well in the non-sport area. They put out a set for the biggest celebrity of 1956, and one who certainly had some staying power. The 1956 sets really emphasized the photography, with usually just one simple design element for the name of the card. Such was the case with the set that capitalized on the most popular celebrity in America. The Elvis set used a simple guitar logo for it's design.

If Elvis was the biggest star for teens and adults, the biggest star for children was Davy Crockett, and Topps put out a set for that TV show with a simple design as well.

Topps also capitalized on Western fever with a historical set of notable names and scenes from the old west, called Round Up. The design was very similar, a simple text box over the picture.

Round Up was one of several educational sets Topps put out in '56. Flags of the World continued the pattern of a simple text box in a picture-dominated design.

Jets featured photos of the top flying craft of the day. The red border at the bottom is the only color border of any kind for Topps in '56.
The US Presidents set featured a painting of the President as they were in the office, with the background being a drawing of an event from earlier in their life. The banner with their name, coupled with the Presidential logo, makes this one of the more involved designs for Topps in a year where their sets were simple but quite effective.


  1. 1956 must have been the peak of my uncle's collecting; he gave me his collection many years ago, and there's a good chunk of the baseball set from that year, and most of the Davy Crockett and Flags sets. Sadly no Elvis though!

  2. Definitely a good year for trading cards. I especially like the Presidents set.

  3. Cool post. Hadn't seen 1956 football cards.

  4. Great year for trading cards. I love the baseball card design. It's my favorite of all-time. The Flags of the World and US Presidents sets are also really attractive. Never seen Round Up until this post. I'll have to head over to COMC and dig a little deeper into that set.

  5. I'm a huge fan of the '56 baseball set but Topps did a great job with their non-sports issues that year as well. The US Presidents set is really nice. I have a Truman but I might look into adding another one.

  6. That's a solid lineup from Topps that year. Happy New Year!

  7. I can only imagine how much more fun it must've been to be collecting back then.