This started as a comment on Cardboard Junkies post about Topps 2010 releases. I started to write a complaint post about how Topps has used A&G, T206, and T205 to death. I started to write in all the names of sets with designs that could be used but instead decided to just write me own dang post and show everyone what I was talking about.
So here are some old cards that could be used as a template for a retro set. Everyone chime in one which you would like to see.
1887 Red Stocking Cigars
Would hav eto rewrite all the Tobacco stuff but doable. If nothing else it could be changed to "Collect the "Topps ____ Set" and used as the dummy card that is suppsed to thwart pack searchers
1884 Nation League Scorecard Cover
Not actually a card but could work.
1904 Allegheny Card Co
Personally I think this would make a great design for the back of a retro card.
This would look good with the border some shade of gold and embossed.
Think how easy it would be to change the color of the ivy and parallel the heck out of these.
1909 T204 Square
If you don't like changing the ivy as a parrallel than change the shape like the originals.
Possible color variants like UD Heroes. These are also just right for making mini cards.
Again easily parralleled
1922 Neilson Chocolate
Check out the embedded designs that are different in each card. Each player could have a variant of designs not to mention colors.