Saturday, March 19, 2011

Inspirations: Vintage Books no.11

Yesterday I visited my favorite local used bookstore, Books and Memories, as a way to kick off the weekend. I found some more great vintage books to add to my collection and thought I would feature one of them today.

The book is titled Sailor Jack And Eddy and is from a series of early reader books about Sailor Jack. The authors are Selma and Jack Wasserman, the illustrator is Robert S. Robison, and the book was published in 1961 by Benefic Press. The story is about a little boy named Eddy who stows away on the submarine Shark during his elementary school field trip.

I initially picked up the book because it has the bold colored canvas cover that can be found on many books from the '50s and '60s. I'm a big fan of these covers for their simplified design with limited colors and bold shapes, and am often tempted to take books home solely based on the cover design. This book is a nice bonus, because not only is the cover great but the inside illustrations are classic as well. The artist used a three color printing scheme - blue, yellow, and red - which is layered to make any green or orange that is needed. The result is a composition that has been very well planned out to make use of the printing technology that was available at the time.

I particularly like how some illustrations rely more on shapes than falling back completely on black outlines (like the sailors in the background of the final image below). The lines that are used are also nice and fluid - look at the continuous swoop of the pen that makes the sailor's legs as he walks in the image below. Older books like this are a good reminder that less can be more when it comes to art. Sometimes by setting some limits you can come up with a stronger composition and not be tempted to fill the picture with more just because you can.

1 comment:

lostsailors said...

Seriously, you find the BEST books! I don't know how you do it. I love the cover of this one, I wish you could frame it!