Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

05 May 2012

Vintage Steam: A Dust Wrapper for Dinny Donovan

In 1967 the notorious! Dinny Donovan (no relation of mine) was managing director of the Caxton Press, Christchurch, a company with whom I had quite a lot of doings.

Dinny asked me to design and execute a dust wrapper for 'Vintage Steam by Frank Roberts. There are two interesting things about this job :

Firstly, I decided to illustrate one of the old locomotives as a stylized side elevation on the cover. As the engine was a horizontal shape, I turned the cover ninety degrees - an unusually daring departure in those days. Secondly, I never gave Dinny a rough design to approve but went directly to finished artwork. I did a basic drawing of the engine and other black portions of the design and then two black 'Kodatrace' overlays, one for gold and the other for red. Only after it was printed could you see how the finished design would look.

Dinny had great faith and the dust wrapper worked out just fine.

These days the whole thing would be done on my iMac. Computers didn't exist in those days and I doubt if 'Kodatrace' exists nowadays. But the mere mention of the word will bring a tear to any old designer aged over 70!


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By Don Donovan