picture book design

Neustudio

Updating Children’s Picture Book Illustrations

The People Shall Continue

This title was out of print and Lee & Low Books wanted to publish a special edition for its 40th anniversary. The original illustrations were not available. Working from scans of a printed copy of the children’s picture book, Neustudio de-screened the scans, created new illustrations, and updated the overall look of the artwork.

The goal is to attract new readers to the book and new focus to the creators’ points of view. It was important to work respectfully while solving technical issues and refreshing the illustrations. We chose to leave the figures largely intact, to make minimal changes required by technical and production concerns. The backgrounds became the focus.

Some current children’s titles were using gradients and textures along with simply-drawn figures. Using these as inspiration, we added textures and gradients to backgrounds, while keeping the color palette bright and similar to the original.


Descreening the Scanned Artwork

The scans from the printed book showed the dots of ink in clustered “rosettes.” If these were left in the artwork, they would interfere with the new printing process. By carefully adjusting and repeatedly testing Photoshop filters, we were able to soften the dots in each color without compromising the graphic shapes of the original art.

childrens-picture-book-illustration-ink-rosettes
childrens-picture-book-illustration-descreened

(left) Art scanned from printed book, (right) art de-screened to remove ink-dots and smooth out jagged lines.


Adding Texture

Printing processes have changed since The People Shall Continue was created. We had the opportunity to add more texture into the pages. Because it was vital to the purpose of the book to keep the authentic depictions of indigenous people, we chose to work with the backgrounds to add texture and adjust the color palette while making few changes to the people.

childrens-picture-book-illustration-textures

Using stock art textures, we built multi-layer photoshop files with masking and transparency.


Two New Illustrations

To fit the book in its current 32-page format, two new illustrations were needed.

The text on the this spread suggested a drought with ominous skies and cracked earth

children's picture book illustration updating
children's picture book illustration updating

To illustrate the last lines of the original text, we chose to bring in textures used through out the book for continuity. We added the people from the original version’s title page.

children's picture book illustration updating
children's picture book illustration updating

Do You Have a Children’s Picture Book Title with Unique Challenges?

Our studio is experienced with book production, and up-to-date with the most recent software and techniques. That gives us the ability to handle all kinds of projects: reprints, paperback conversions, language conversions and ebooks.

We’d be happy to discuss your project, just fill out the form below.