Modern Mechanix’s Cover from Painting to Magazine (Jan, 1935)

MM’S Cover from Painting to Magazine

Three photo negatives are made of 21″x30″ oil painting (below). At same time screen of 133 dots to inch is placed between plate and lens. On one negative all but blue color is filtered out, second all but red, and third yellow. Proof of type for the cover is photographed. Type on negative is masked for drawing.

George Rozen, MM’s cover artist, makes an outline of this month’s cover from a sketch supplied by the editor. He makes a small color rough to get tone values, then completes oil painting.

Three color plates (left) each of which makes a separate color impression on finished cover are needed- Photo print is made on copper plate of type, over which red negative is superimposed for red plate. Plate is etched, acid eating metal where there is little or no red. Shading is obtained by varying size of screen dots. Use magnifying glass on cover to see these. Black Is obtained by piling three colors on top of each other. Register marks line up plates for proofs. Electrotypes for presses are then made from lead mold of copper plates for the actual printing.

  1. galessa says: March 6, 20075:36 am

    amazing there was no CMYK by those days!

  2. altwegg says: March 6, 20076:49 am

    Actually, this is exactly how CMYK was done in those days (and up until very recently.)
    C = cyan (a shade of blue)
    M = magenta (a shade of red)
    Y = yellow
    K = black (which the article doesn’t mention)

    Color separations until very recently were a black art and those that were good were highly paid and sought after by printers and color houses. Nowadays, anyone with the scratch to buy Photoshop can claim to do color separations, but it’s still a skill to do them well.

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