The earliest basketball programs in the University Archives date from the 1950s. Programs from this decade draw on stock images by Larry Tisdale, John Cullen Murphy, James Axelrod, and a number of other artists. Tisdale's overlapping circles in primary colors from 1953 typify the graphic design of the period.
However, the most heavily represented illustrator is Lon Keller, whose clean-cut, well-scrubbed subjects approach caricature. They fail to reflect the process of integration that was underway at American colleges.
Each program in the December 1951-March 1952 season was dedicated to a member of the NC State basketball team or coaching staff. Wolfpack fans were encouraged to collect a full album of players and coaches. The experiment with rudimentary sepia portraits was discontinued at the end of the season, and cover photographs did not become standard for another fourteen years.