Behind the Design: 2023-24 Bowman U Best Basketball

Behind the Design of 2023-24 Bowman U Best Basketball

Date: Mar 14, 2024
Topics: basketball, Bowman U Best BK, How To Collect
Length: 716 Words
Reading Time: ~4 Minutes

Season 2 Slam Dunk

The 2023-24 Bowman U Best Basketball collection bursts onto the scene as a bold testament to the ever-growing demand for a basketball-only iteration of the esteemed Bowman brand. In its second year of exclusively focusing on basketball, this release represents a leap forward in design and innovation, promising collectors an exhilarating visual experience rooted in the rich tradition of collegiate basketball. Under the astute guidance of Topps Art Director Adam Schwartz, the design team has meticulously crafted a collection that pushes the boundaries of creativity and celebrates the passion and excitement of NCAA basketball. Schwartz underscores the team’s commitment to excellence, stating, “In Bowman Best, we typically try to outdo the previous year’s design in terms of dynamic design elements, color, textures, etc.” This dedication sets the stage for an unforgettable collection that captures the essence of collegiate basketball and showcases the top upcoming talent in the game.

Embracing the unique allure of collegiate basketball, the design team introduces fresh elements that pay homage to the sport’s storied heritage. Schwartz elaborates, “This year, we wanted the base cards to include school team colors and logos,” highlighting the team’s efforts to capture the essence of each program’s identity. Furthermore, the collection features an array of insert sets meticulously crafted to showcase the top upcoming talent in the game.

Keepin’ It Chrome

At the heart of the 2023-24 Bowman U Best BK collection lies its utilization of cutting-edge chrome printing technology. Schwartz explains, “These cards are all printing on chrome technology, so they will offer a bright and shiny rip,” emphasizing the luminous quality that elevates each card to new heights. The team’s meticulous attention to detail extends to every aspect of the collection, from the dynamic typography to the bold color palettes, creating a sense of energy and excitement that mirrors the intensity of the basketball court.

Drawing inspiration from basketball culture, the design team infuses the collection with a youthful vibrancy that resonates with fans and collectors alike. Schwartz reflects on this approach, stating, “We wanted these cards to feel young, like the players they depict,” underscoring the team’s desire to capture the spirit of the game. This emphasis on youth is evident in the collection’s bold colors, dynamic designs, and captivating photography, which create a visually stunning showcase of collegiate basketball talent.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

One particularly memorable anecdote from the creative process involves the development of the “Victory Vibes” insert design. Schwartz recounts, “Wade Ryan, the senior designer on my team, did the Victory Vibes design, which is another of my favorites in the project.” He describes how Ryan initially positioned the player in front of the entire island scene but then added a playful twist by making it appear like the player’s legs were in the water. “So he went back and adjusted the design and even added some fish,” Schwartz adds. “I think it’s one of the most fun designs in the set.”

Schwartz also shares his enthusiasm for the “Greatness Awaits” subset, stating, “One of my favorite cards is the Greatness Awaits subset.” His admiration for this insert stems from its unique design and visual impact, as it features three images of a player, including two action shots and one close-up. “We don’t often do designs with three images of the same player,” Schwartz notes. “We also added some wood paneling in the corners to tie in the basketball courts they play on.” Additionally, he expresses his fondness for the “Bowman U Buckets” insert, describing it as a die-cut card with an action image of the player and a large basketball hoop in the background. His appreciation for these inserts underscores the team’s commitment to creating standout cards that resonate with collectors.

As collectors eagerly anticipate the release of the 2023-24 Bowman U Best Basketball collection, they can expect an unparalleled visual experience that celebrates the passion and excitement of NCAA basketball. With its dynamic design elements, innovative features, and meticulous attention to detail, this release promises to be a standout addition to any collection, offering fans a unique opportunity to celebrate the talent and excitement of the collegiate game.


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