Reproducing first edition

I have a client that wants me to reproduce the title page of a first edition of a classic book. I definitely can’t do it with metal (I don’t have enough), so I was thinking either re-creating it in Illustrator with the proper typefaces or getting a very high resolution scan and making a plate from that.

Any suggestions as to the best way to go about this? The original was printed in England in the late 1600s.


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My instinct is to suggest the scan method may be the best. If you can get a high enough resolution scan, it’ll be pretty indistinguishable provided the printing was clear enough in the first place, and it’ll enable you to clean up errors if you’re good in photoshop. Recreating it in illustrator will be a tall order without a scan anyhow, so why bother re-setting when a high res bitmap will do the trick?
A 2400 PPI bitmap the size of a book is an acceptable pre-press file, and you can probably make it quite graphically clear. Once it’s set to a film and converted to a plate it’ll be really nice.

This is the cover I want to reproduce. I haven’t sourced a high resolution copy of it, though, so I may have to go the InDesign route and re-set it. Any idea what typefaces these could be? Obviously of British origin, around late 1600s, but no idea past that. I’d settle for something close (and preferable has the old-style ‘s’, but I can fake that if I need to). Frankly, my biggest concern over recreating the design is making it feel old. It’s hard to reproduce the uneven line and character spacings.

image: PL 1667 cover.jpg

PL 1667 cover.jpg

Try the Fell types. Look up fell types under fell in Identifont. It is free downloadable as long as you credit the designer.

From the types cut by Peter De Walpergen and bequeathed to the University of Oxford by John Fell in 1686. Designed for printing at 17 points.

Good luck.

Download the font here.

Long Day Press

Excellent, thank you!

I don’t know, I actually think you could work with that high quality .jpg and do some careful cleaning up in photoshop, then transfer to illustrator and make some vector outlines/work with trace and then the pen tool to move points around until happy, and it would take you less time likely than re-setting the type.

Re-setting the type will look cleaner in the end, but you’ll be better off duping what’s there working up from the low res file if you’re talented enough with those programs. If knowledge/experience is too limited, ignore what I’m saying though as it’s a can of works to ‘learn’ on.

I’m very familiar with both Illustrator and Photoshop, but the time that would take is more than the job is worth.

I did a quick setting using the Fell types. It’s not perfect, but it’s not bad either. I’m going to see what the client can muster up for me before diving into this full bore.

image: Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 11.03.05 AM.png

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 11.03.05 AM.png