How Produced

How are ReproJackets Produced?
Stage 1: The Original Jacket
Our starting point is a 1st issue original dustjacket for We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea by Arthur Ransome, from Jonathan Cape in 1937.  We make a high-resolution scan of the original dustjacket at 600 pixels per inch, which means around a million pixels for each three square inches.

The image is straightened up and cropped very precisely, and a note made in the image file of the type of paper used. The image file will also contain lower-resolution scans of the boards of the book, its title page and any copyright/publication/printing information which may be present.

Stage 2: Paper Removal
The first procedure is to divide the image vertically into back flap, back panel, spine, front panel and front flap. In this example there is no back flap content, and the spine is combined with the front panel into a single piece of artwork. The paper is then removed from each of these portions -- the image shows an intermediate stage prior to removing the paper from the artwork.
With the paper now transparent, an underlying layer of black is used in order to best show up any vestiges of the paper or unwanted marks. The front flap looks fairly clean already, but several faint marks are visible on the back panel and these will be removed at the next stage -- they would be almost invisible against a white background which is why black is used here.

Stage 3: Text Restoration
The text has been completely cleaned up and any bits of missing ink replaced. On the back panel the upper extremities of the header line were damaged and have been repaired using the corresponding line from the 1937 copy of Swallows and Amazons.

Stage 4: Artwork Preparation
The majority of the paper has been removed from the artwork now, and we can see it against both white and black underlayers. The 'black' (actually dark grey) portions, ie text and illustrations, will next be separated from the blue decoration onto distinct layers for the final stages of the restoration.

Stage 5: Artwork Separation
Now that the dark grey text and illustrations are separated from the blue decorations, we can restore each of them and then make the colouring of each of these two separations uniform.

The chipping at the jacket edges has damaged the text and illustration at the top of the spine; together with the wear at the folds it has removed some of the decorations. We have other issues of the jacket scanned, and these can be used to supply the missing pieces.

Stage 6: Artwork Restoration
The text and images have been repaired and made a consistent colour (the spine in particular had a brown cast). Like the colour layer, the dark grey texture has been sampled and used for this recolouring rather than a solid tint, and this retains the original appearance much better.

The coloured layer has also been repaired where the original had losses at the folds and edges, and the whole has been given a consistent recolouring using a sample of the blue texture.

The whole jacket is now ready for assembly and the final stages.

Stage 7: Final Assembly
The final stage involves adding 'bleed margins' where necessary. This is where ink runs right up to the trimmed edge, and must be extended into the margin to avoid uninked edges caused by trimming inaccuracies. In this example, the top and bottom of the blue coloured layer bleed in places.

The ReproJackets identifier has been added, the small corner-clips have been marked in black, and the trim marks have been placed at the sides. The ReproJacket is complete.