For my first attempt, I selected Panini's 2009 Rookies & Stars. Unfortunately, for Panini/Donruss, their cards seem to be the most common when making my claim of "I can do better". They just typically leave a lot to be desired in my opinion. The problems with 09 R&S to me are multiple. First, cut out players with no game background. I don't totally dislike this design element, but I do think it is to prevalent. Second, black and white background for every card. Third, the team logos are teeny, tiny. Lastly, the players names have too much white space around them. So I've made some changes and here they are.
Since I don't have the original photos, I can't put any of the original background back in, so we are stuck with cut out players. I did, however, change the boring black & white backgrounds to team colors for each specific player, which I feel makes the cards much more dynamic. I also increased the size of the logos and player names to take up more of the white space and tie everything together better. The one thing I didn't change, but would if I could figure out how to make it appear correctly is add foil to the R&S logos at the bottom right corner. Panini must not have budgeted in any money for foil, because I have yet to see any on their cards (that I can remember) that weren't completely foil board. Maybe they just don't have any foil stamps. Anyway, at least for their basketball products so far, I feel they look a lot cheaper minus any of the foil that UD and Topps uses.
So there you have it. The first "I Think I Can Do Better" entry. What do you think? Later.