Recreating/preserving Sinclair box packages

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olifink
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Recreating/preserving Sinclair box packages

Postby olifink » Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:31 pm

Don't ask me why, I really like the Sinclair software box packages. Not that their are really beautiful, but like most Sinclair stuff it's unique and it resonated with me (still does). Actually the ZX Spectrum ones have been my focus and since I have all originals published - and thought it would be nice to have/recreate them as scalable vector graphics… that's as far as I got with them. On the QL side things I found it's more difficult as it's not even possible to get hold good photos (bad scans of manuals are easier to find), let alone getting the packages themselves. They should not get lost, and ideally we'd have a gallery of them somewhere.

So during a particularly boring conference call last week (it takes only the other half of the brain) I started to look around and see how far I could get… Let me first make it clear that I'm not at all artistically talented, but I have the right tools and text layout and design, so that's a start.

I found a reasonable photo of the QL Home Finance package online (I actually have tiny manual and binder myself). Working in Affinity Designer on Windows, first load the photo and then bit by bit place vectors on top of it. The texts are relatively easy as "Saxony-Serial Medium" is the signature QL font - only the kerning and character spacing is slightly different, and some glyphs vary a bit, but not too much to matter. The stripes on the box are easy, the logo from Buzzzz fun to recreate. Only the main artwork is a pain and is too hard to re-create manually, though a good vector tracer like Vector Magic can help a lot (unfortunately, the source image is not good enough, so I recreated the coins manually, hopefully I can replace it eventually). But for a first try I find it pretty decent:

product-98369.jpg
QL Home Finance.png


Once you have the basic box it's obviously not much work to adjust the image, logo and text to come up with a new box. So when Ralf posted the photo on the QMon thread I couldn't help myself. First thing to do was correcting the perspective, and then there is the reflection of the flash, which is only a problem for the artwork. Luckly I have the QL Macro Assembler manual and it uses the same on the first page, so I used a photo from that to vectorize.
The vectorizer actually did an amazing job in tracing the original artwork image . I used a slightly differeny grey just for experimentation, I think it should be easy to find the original Sinclair Pantone silver...

ralfs-monitor.png
perspective-correction.png


QL Monitor.png


The sourcefiles and SVGs will go to GitHub eventually. My plan is to re-create each original Sinclair software box, and maybe others in future (Computer One is high on the list). If you have images or would like to see a particular one let me know. (no promise or timeline though).


O


RWAP
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Re: Recreating/preserving Sinclair box packages

Postby RWAP » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:01 pm

Excellent - these would look great added to the QL Wiki as replacements for the existing packaging photos - most of the images on there were ones I scanned in and edited in Paint


Ralf R.
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Re: Recreating/preserving Sinclair box packages

Postby Ralf R. » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:17 pm

Ok, you want it, you get it. Here are a few. They all have the same silver but the scanner software seems to use all scanned colours, so it differs a bit. Nevertheless, I fear, they all will look great after you have changed it.
Attachments
Reversi.jpg
Bounder.jpg
Fictionary.jpg
TouchnGo.jpg


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vanpeebles
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Re: Recreating/preserving Sinclair box packages

Postby vanpeebles » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:20 pm

Great thread! They look superb!


Ralf R.
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Re: Recreating/preserving Sinclair box packages

Postby Ralf R. » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:27 pm

vanpeebles wrote:Great thread! They look superb!

And if we ever had Software on CD, you would have seen this one:
Attachments
CD_LP.jpg


olifink
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Re: Recreating/preserving Sinclair box packages

Postby olifink » Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:21 am

RWAP wrote:Excellent - these would look great added to the QL Wiki as replacements for the existing packaging photos - most of the images on there were ones I scanned in and edited in Paint

great idea - I've signed up for an qlwiki account a couple of days back but have yet to contribute... :?


olifink
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Re: Recreating/preserving Sinclair box packages

Postby olifink » Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:25 am

Ralf R. wrote:Ok, you want it, you get it. Here are a few. They all have the same silver but the scanner software seems to use all scanned colours, so it differs a bit. Nevertheless, I fear, they all will look great after you have changed it.


THANKS Ralf! I'll clean up my first two (make them the same size etc) and then get on to those.

So they are actually printed with a yellow spot colour? Interesting... I didn't know that.


olifink
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Re: Recreating/preserving Sinclair box packages

Postby olifink » Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:03 am

Ok, the first design (QL Monitor) is done and the SVG, PDF and a PNG is on GitHub (CC-SA-BY). The original Affinity Designer files shouldn't really go on GitHub, so you'll find a link on the GH readme.

https://github.com/olifink/QL-boxdesigns

below the original SVG directly from GitHub, I love it how the vectorizer captured the detail of the artwork... sigh... that set's the bar pretty high for the next ones.

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/olifink/QL-boxdesigns/master/QL%20Monitor/QL%20Monitor.svg?sanitize=true

Image

One note about the strips on the sides: I've double the height of White compared to Black as I found if viewed in normal sizes there is an optical trick at play in our brains that makes black look bigger than white. On the box itself they actually are the same size, so I still might change it. What do you think?

O


olifink
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Re: Recreating/preserving Sinclair box packages

Postby olifink » Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:59 pm

and... the stripes above are now equal in height...


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Cristian
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Re: Recreating/preserving Sinclair box packages

Postby Cristian » Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:03 pm

olifink wrote:and... the stripes above are now equal in height...

I prefer this way. Let's keep the original design (in my humble opinion).



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