Griffey OnyxHobby Musings: Joe Johnson Brings Unique Design to Onyx Onyx’s already unique cards have received an extra bit of flair with some phenomenal graphic designs on some of those cards. Those extra touches have come courtesy of designer Joe Johnson. I had the chance to catch up with Mr. Johnson to find out more about how he got linked up with Onyx and how he comes up with his designs.

KS: Joe, how did you get involved with designing cards for Onyx?
I reached out to Lance Fischer via Instagram. I sent him a link to my portfolio. We did the first test run at the Mint in Vegas. The cards did well, and we agreed to a deal right there at the event.

KS: How you get started in graphic design as a career?
After leaving the military, I attended college and took visual communications as my major. I really got my jumpstart by doing recruiting graphics for kids interested in FSU. My first official job was at Oklahoma State with Mike Gundy.

KS: What is your process for designing the cards for Onyx?
It really depends on the type of card we’re doing. In an art card example, I’m looking to use things synonymous with the fan base and connect the card and player directly to them.

KS: You’ve shown a number of the designs with athlete autographs on them.  How does having an athlete sign it post-creation affect your design choice, if at all?
It doesn’t honestly. Most athletes just sign over the top of the card design.

KS: Do you have a favorite card that you’ve designed so far?
Ken Griffey Jr’s space-bound is my favorite and it’s not close.

KS: Are you collecting any of the cards you’ve designed?
Believe it or not, I do. I love collecting things I’ve designed, and it keeps my kids interested in the card market as well. They like showing their friends my portfolio online.

KS Do you collect cards or any other memorabilia?
I collect NASCAR stuff. My favorite non-sports card memorabilia is a race-used front bumper that was signed by Kyle Busch.

KS: What do you have coming out for upcoming designs?
We just finished up Karl-Anthony Towns, Trinity Rodman, and Catarina Macario. My first box product “Onyx Nimbus” comes out next year. I’m pretty excited to see how it does.

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Kelsey’s ability to bring hobby coverage to the mainstream sports fan has been a true asset. GTS is happy to feature his thoughts on collecting in Hobby Musings. The opinions expressed are his and do not necessarily reflect those of GTS Distribution.
Kelsey Schroyer

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