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color accurate reproductions of

Publishers ’ Posters From a Century Past — a group project of the rit Imaging Workflows class

Copyright Š 2009 Photography Press. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations. Photography Press School of Photographic Arts and Sciences Rochester Institute of Technology 70 Lomb Memorial Drive Rochester, NY 14623-5604 Content

Reproductions of posters provided courtesy of the Cary Graphic Arts Collection.


Betterlight Super 6K and Super 8K digital scanning backs


Students registered in the Imaging Workflows class, Spring 2008-09, RIT


HP Artist, GretagMacbeth ProfileMaker 5.0.8, Adobe Photoshop CS4

Book Layout

Adobe InDesign CS4


Minion Pro & Legacy Sans


Mohawk Superfine Eggshell, White, 100lb. cover


HP Indigo 5500 Digital Press, RIT Printing Applications Lab

Contents 6 Lippincott’s March 7 The June Outing: Special Bicycle Number 8 The June Century: Napoleon in Egypt 9 Lippincott’s July 10 St. Nicholas August: The Midsummer Number 11 Lippincott’s August 12 The Century for October 13 Harper’s November 14 The Martian by Du Maurier 15 Harper’s Christmas 16 The Philistine 17 Harper’s July 18 Lippincott’s February 19 Harper’s June 20 Harper’s July 21 Harper’s August 22 Harper’s January 23 Harper’s Bazar 24 Harper’s February 25 March Scribner’s: The Workers in the West 26 Harper’s March 27 St. Nicholas January: Danny and the “Major” 28 The Critic for March 29 January Scribner’s 30 The Century Magazine for June 31 Photography & Reproduction 32 Poster Reproduction Process 33 Workflow Diagrams 35 Acknowledgments

Preface The Cary Graphic Arts Collection at rit owns a small but choice archive of late nineteenth -and early twentieth- century posters, many of which were designed to sell magazines. The late nineteenth century was a period in which the art of advertising had achieved a breathtaking summit. Color printing via lithography had been perfected, various artistic movements were shaking the foundations of traditional art and design, and magazine publishing was in its heyday. Magazines like Harper’s, Scribner’s, St. Nicholas, Century, and Outing were delivered to thousands of subscribers, but a greater number of sales were made at newsstands and bookstores. The poster was a perfect advertising mechanism for promoting the latest issue of a new monthly magazine and often focused on one particular article. A well-designed poster, hung prominently at a newsstand, was eye-catching and could be counted on to sell out an issue very quickly.

The reproductions in this portfolio were meticulously prepared by a group of students in rit’s College of Imaging Art & Sciences, working under the direction of Professor Nitin Sampat. Their objectives were as follows:

One of the most famous and sought-after poster artists of the day was Edward Penfield. He was the art director for the New York publisher Harper & Bros. and, for six years (1893–1898), drew the monthly posters for the firm’s magazines. Some of the textural effects for which he was famous were created with brush strokes and stippling directly on the zinc lithographic plates used in the poster printing process. In his early Harper’s posters, Penfield always portrayed someone reading or holding an issue of the magazine, a practice he later followed less regularly. His posters sometimes betrayed a hint of humor, while others displayed a delightful, subtle whimsy. In describing his poster work, Penfield once wrote: “A poster should tell its story at once– a design that needs study is not a poster, no matter how well it is executed.”

The Cary Graphic Arts Collection provided a select number of original lithographic posters created over one hundred years ago to advertise some of the most popular magazines of the day. Professor Sampat’s class carefully photographed and color-calibrated each one for print reproduction. The posters were then printed in rit’s renowned Printing Applications Lab on Mohawk Superfine Eggshell, a superb premium paper generously supplied by Mohawk Fine Papers. The press was the HP Indigo 5500 digital press, a device with unsurpassed color reproduction capabilities. The result is a wonderful example of how imaginative partnering between faculty, students, industry partners, research staff, and the university’s special collections creates a host of learning opportunities for all involved.

Some of the best and most famous posters produced during the 1890s were bicycle advertisements. With the development of the “safety” bicycle toward the end of the century, the poster became enormously popular and manufacturers, not bound by tradition to more conventional forms of advertisement, saw in posters an ideal opportunity for enticing the imaginations of prospective buyers. Women in particular were drawn to this new form of recreation, which was then entirely unfettered by male domination. The bicycle–with female rider – is featured on one of the posters in this collection in a design by O.C. Malcolm for the magazine Outing.

1. Locate specimens of early high-quality commercial color printing characterized by a particular theme and in a format that would be easy to photograph. 2. Develop a workflow that would incorporate: a) high-resolution digital capture b) image correction and color balance and c) reproduction on a digital press. 3. Produce a limited number of copies that could be circulated to rit’s industry partners, the students themselves, and other individuals who participated in the project.

David Pankow, Curator Cary Graphic Arts Collection

Other artists featured in this collection include Louis Rhead, a master of the Art Nouveau style and famous for his eccentric lettering; Edwin Austin Abbey, a brilliant designer famous for his murals at the Boston Public Library as well as for designs for Scribner’s Magazine; Eugene Grasset, a French decorative artist who worked in both medieval and topical styles; and Theo Hampe, whose designs for St. Nicholas are elegant and charming.


Lippincott’s Magazine, March 1896 46 x 30 cm


Joseph J. Gould 1880-1935

Outing Magazine, June 1895

O. C. Malcolm

43 x 30 cm


The Century Magazine, June 1895 53 x 39 cm


Eugene Grasset 1841-1917

Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, July 1896

Joseph J. Gould 1880-1935

48 x 37 cm


St. Nicholas Magazine, August 1896 53 x 37 cm


Theodore Hampe 1877–1965

Lippincott’s Magazine, August 1896

Joseph J. Gould 1880-1935

50 x 39 cm


The Century Magazine October 1896 44 x 32 cm


Artist Unknown

Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, November 1896

Edward Penfield 1866-1925

46 x 34 cm


The Martian, November 1897 51 x 33 cm


Edward Penfield 1866-1925

Harper’s Christmas, December 1896

Edward Penfield 1866–1925

43 x 32 cm


The Philistine, 1896 41 x 16 cm


Dwight Ripley Collin

Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, July 1896

Edward Penfield 1866–1925

37 x 47 cm


Lippincott’s Magazine, February 1897 48 x 28 cm


Joseph J. Gould 1880-1935

Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, June 1897

Edward Penfield 1866-1925

48 x 36 cm


Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, July 1897 36 x 48 cm


Edward Penfield 1866–1925

Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, August 1897

Edward Penfield 1866–1925

47 x 33 cm


Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, January 1898 47 x 36 cm


Edward Penfield 1866–1925

Harper’s Bazar, 1895

H. W. McVickar

46 x 31 cm


Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, February 1898 48 x 34 cm


Edward Penfield 1866–1925

Scribner’s Magazine: Workers in the West, March 1898

Artist Unknown

57 x 35 cm


Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, March 1899 39 x 27 cm


Edward Penfield 1866–1925

St. Nicholas Magazine, Unknown Year

Hy Mayer Unknown

48 x 34 cm


The Critic, March, Unknown Year 55 x 33 cm


Carlo de Fornaro 1849-1871

Scribner’s Magazine, January, Unknown Year

William Sergeant Kendall 1869-1938

44 x 32 cm


The Century Magazine for June, Unknown Year 54 x 28 cm


Louis Rhead 1857-1926

Photography & Reproduction

Jacqui Caci

Aly Artusio-Glimpse

Noah Cohen

Jacquelyn Allen

Michael Berkeypile

Robert Crawford

Lester Espinoza

Gabe Eljdid

Neil Bloem

Julius Kim

Lauren Muraco

Dan Justa

Luigi Guarnuccio

Liz Kaufman

Kaitlin McCue

Siobhan Murphy

Genevieve Williams

Aaron Hendrickson

Derin Korman

Kath Raisch

Elyssa Respaut

Bryan Zaczek

Navah Wei

Elliot Krasnopoler

Matt Thoman

Nitin Sampat Professor

Eric Evans Teacher’s Assistant

Victor Olenick Teacher’s Assistant

This book was produced by students in Professor Nitin Sampat’s Imaging Workflows course at Rochester Institute of Technology. Students worked in five teams to photograph, measure, and process images of the poster collection generously lent by RIT’s Cary Graphic Arts Collection. The teams collaborated on the design, workflow, and finishing aspects of the project with help from teacher’s assistants Eric Evans and Victor Olenick.


Poster Reproduction Process One of the principal aims of this project was to investigate the feasibility of using a state-of-the-art digital press and an appropriate paper to produce a high quality, short-run color publication that would meet the exacting aesthetic and color reproduction standards of museums, libraries, and collectors. A digital workflow system was designed, and the entire production process, from image capture to printing, was carefully managed to ensure the most accurate reproduction of the subject matter. This research project involved faculty and students from RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, personnel from the Cary Graphic Arts Collection, the print reproduction staff of RIT’s Printing Applications Lab, and technical and materials support from HP and Mohawk Fine Papers.

Capture Process: The capture system utilized a high-resolution Betterlight digital camera back and Northlight studio lights. Uniform illumination and a neutral white balance were established for each poster. The characteristics of the camera and the lights were measured using scientific instruments such as spectroradiometers and monochrometers. This combined information provided a means for quantifying the way in which the digital camera saw the color of the posters.

Reference Color Measurements: In order to determine how the human eye would see the same poster, a spectrophotometer (an instrument that can accurately measure color wavelengths) was used to measure a number of colors on every poster. This process was nonintrusive, and extreme care was taken to ensure that the poster was protected at all times.

Image Processing: The image processing was conducted using HP Artist, a proprietary software program developed at HP labs. The software mathematically compensated for any non-uniformity in the poster illumination and made corrections to compensate for the differences in how the camera and the human eye perceived color in the same poster. Each poster required its own unique correction, which was applied to the image to generate a colorimetricallyaccurate image.


Paper Choice: Mohawk Superfine Eggshell 100-lb. cover paper was selected for the project and generously donated by Mohawk Fine Papers. This is a premium, archival uncoated paper with high opacity that minimizes show-through. Mohawk’s i-Tone process provides for superior ink adhesion on an Indigo press.

Printer Characterization: The HP Indigo 5500 printer was characterized for its color capabilities (color gamut). The ink and paper combination was checked to ensure the presence of a wide color gamut for effectively rendering the colors of the posters.

Gamut Mapping: Each processed color image was rendered into the gamut of the printer. This stage converted the captured RGB digital image into the Indigo CMYK printing space.

PDF Conversion: Each poster’s CMYK file was placed into an Adobe InDesign book layout. The entire book file was subsequently converted to PDF at an output resolution of 1200 dpi (the native resolution of the Indigo 5500). All compression and color management options were switched off in InDesign.

Proofing and Final Printing: All color management on the press was turned off, so that the PDF file could be printed with no processing on the printer side. Proof prints were compared to the originals under a D50 (5,000 degrees Kelvin) light source and approved, as necessary, for final printing in the edition run.

Workflow Diagram - HP Artist


Workflow Diagram - GretagMacbeth


Acknowledgments This book is the collective work of the many students taking the Imaging Workflows course in the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences. The capture of the posters, processing and preparation of the images for printing and developing a workflow that would render near-exact replicas of the posters was done by teams of five students each. The creation of the final book, however, would not have been possible without the support of many other people. We especially want to thank the Cary Graphic Arts Collection for loaning us the posters for this educational exercise, the Printing Applications Lab for their patience with the students’ questions and for donating press time for this project, and Mohawk Fine Papers for their generous donation of the paper used in this project. Individuals who helped us are: David Pankow, Curator, Cary Graphic Arts Collection Jacquelyn Clements, Graduate Assistant, Cary Graphic Arts Collection Jeremy Vanslette, Digital Printing Manager, Printing Applications Lab William Garno, Director, Printing Applications Lab Barbara Giordano, Operations Manager, Printing Applications Lab Joshua Messing, Digital Printing Technician, Printing Applications Lab Dave Hazelwood, Digital Printing Technologist, Printing Applications Lab Christopher Harrold, Vice President of Market Development, Mohawk Fine Papers.

Thank You ! Nitin Sampat

Instructor of the Imaging Workflows Class School of Photographic Arts and Sciences


Publishers' Posters From A Century Past  

Color Accurate Reproductions Of Publishers' Posters From A Century Past. A group project of the RIT Imaging Workflows class.