Still Fresh

APRIL 4, 2013

A recent cover for Sactown Magazine gave me the opportunity to have some fun with lovely old engravings from Dover Books' Food and Drink, A Pictorial Archive from Nineteenth Century Sources, selected by Jim Harter. Wood engraving was a popular medium for illustration up until about the 1890's when it began to disappear in favor of newer methods for producing halftone art. A collage of engraved fruit and vegetable images seemed to be the perfect complement to the busy typographic treatment called for by a plethora of cover lines.

The final cover, when too much is not enough.

Sketchbook pages with an assortment of possible cover line renderings.

After some cutting and pasting, a very rough composition, followed by a tight arrangement of type and then, a greyscale rendering including the fruits and vegetables.

Some pages from the Harter book show a variety of garden goodies.

Using a digital technique analogous to John Craig's classic engraving collage style, the each image was scanned, saved as a tiff, imported into Illustrator, given color as an opacity mask and a second color fill using various gradients.

Each of the dozen-plus engravings were scanned, positioned, masked and colored to create the final arrangement. (Yes, it was painstaking work and it did take a long time).