I like to play around with GIMP, which is a free photo manipulation program which you can use to play around with different looks on cards.
For instance, here is a regular 2012 Topps card of Jayson Werth:
Here it is in Turkey Red style:
And in newspaper style:
This style seems like a Bazooka or Topps Kids or Sports Illustrated Kids card:
Here is a tribute to 1990's Pepsi cans:
A guess who? card:
A cutout card on a cereal box:
A diamond sparkle card:
Topps Gallery style:
And a scratch board parallel design:
See? It's fun to play with it.
These are all just stock settings and I'm sure somebody who uses it more than me can really knock out some snazzy designs.
Give it a try sometime.