This is interesting.
Below you’ll find card mock ups by designer Michael Romeo.
I’m assuming he was the lead designer on all the sets shown below. He also, according to his resume:
.. Designed over 250 high-end sports trading cards with styles ranging from modern to retro to Victorian to distressed, and received rave reviews from collectors, which translated into high profits for Topps.
See now that’s a nice little resume padding technique he’s using there. Nobody outside of the card industry would read that and think “arrogant douchebag”, because they would have no reason to doubt it, why would they?
It isn’t common that the average person knows Topps puts out a multitude of sets each year filled with autographs and game used memorabilia. Or that there are many factors that contribute to a product’s success or failure. Design plays a part, but (at least in my opinion) not a crucial part that single handily dictates whether or not the company as a whole will experience “high profits”.
Now if your perception of Topps is say, a one set a year baseball card manufacturer whose main market is children, then I guess the “design equals high profits” argument is at least plausible.