Score Football Card Designs Through the Years, 1989-2013

Score Football Card Designs Through the Years, 1989-2013

Since debuting in 1989, Score Football cards have been among the most affordable and widely collected sets in the hobby. Focused largely on giving a comprehensive checklist aimed at set builders, the brand has never been hugely focused on secondary market values. Rather, it's about covering the gridiron happenings with key stars, mid-range players and plenty of rookies. The formula is straightforward. There's something to be said for being able to have fun in the hobby without worrying about investment potential and the big hits. That's why Score Football has been a hobby pillar for a quarter of a century.

2013 Score Football marks the set's 25th year. The made its pigskin debut in 1989 with one of the best sets of the Junk Wax Era. The 1989 Score Football checklist includes, arguably, the most iconic rookie cards of Barry Sanders and Troy Aikman amongst others. Like baseball, the design was bright and unmistakable. In fact, colorful designs were a staple for Score Football for many years. Until recently, it's not a brand that's been know for its subtleties. Rather, rainbow borders, lots of lines, a sometimes dizzying number of energetic subsets and loud looks were all regular features for the brand's first decade.

Since 2002, Score Football has gone with more traditional white borders. While some of the designs have continued to be busy, they're a far cry from the brand's early days. As the years have gone on, the designs have shifted even further to stronger photography and even further away from being loud, at least for veterans photos.

As an early release, Score Football rookie cards have a long history of looking a little more generic. Portraits, college uniforms and generic threads have been used on the vast majority of the brand's rookie cards. Sometimes it works, other times, not so much.

Below is a complete visual guide showcasing all Score Football card designs from its 1989 debut through 2013. What's your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.

Visual History of Score Football Base Card Designs, 1989-2013

Click on the thumbnail for a larger image.

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2012 Score Riley Reiff rookie autograph Lions Iows # 366
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1989 Score Thurman Thomas RC #211 PSA 9 Mint
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1989 Score Cris Carter RC #72 PSA 9 Mint
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1989 Score Bruce Mathews RC #109 PSA 9 Mint
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1989 Score Troy Aikman RC #270 PSA 9 Mint
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BARRY SANDERS LIONS OKLAHOMA STATE 1989 SCORE RC #257 GEM MINT 10 (BL615)
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Da'Rick Rogers 2013 Score RC Rookie Purple Parallel #'ed 30 99 Bills *D204
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1989 Score #270 Troy Aikman Rookie Card Dallas in Plastic Holder
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2014 Score Rookie Signatures #359 David Fales Auto - NM-MT
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16 Card MARC SPINDLER 1990 NFL Pro Set Score ROOKIE Lot #295 #92 LIONS
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MATT FORTE 2008-09 Score Promo RC Super Bowl Glossy #184 250 Rookie Bears #365
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ANDREW LUCK INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 2012 SCORE RC #304 PSA 10 GEM MINT (BL615)
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2012 score #304a ANDREW LUCK rookie BGS 10 9.5 9.5 9.5
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2012 score glossy #304 ANDREW LUCK rookie BGS 10 9 9.5 10
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2011 Score Football Dallas Cowboys Team Set With DeMarco Murray Rookie
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2012 score #304a ANDREW LUCK rc rookie card BGS BCCG 10
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Ryan Cracknell

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Ryan's collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection. Ryan can be found on Twitter @tradercracks and Google+.

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