Ideas, Trends, and Thoughts

The Story of the Titanic, As Told Through Contemporary Graphics

Sebastian Certik 1910s advertising cartoons Golden Age of Illustration illustrations illustrators magazine art magazine covers R. M. S. Titanic sheet music art sheet music covers Titanic vintage magazines

The Story of the Titanic, As Told Through Contemporary Graphics

Very few historical events have become so indelibly part of our collective memory as has the most famous shipwreck of all, the Titanic. Even before James Cameron's 1997 epic, the history of the Titanic has been a deeply fascinating topic for so many. As an inevitable result of this fascination, the story has been told many times over and in many different forms, but today I wanted to explore the tragedy from a different angle. Namely, what can the Titanic's rich graphic legacy tell us about the experience of those who lived through it? This article will tell that story...

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Charles Dana Gibson: Father of the Meme

Sebastian Certik 1890s Charles Dana Gibson early 1900s Gibson Girl internet memes memes

Charles Dana Gibson: Father of the Meme

Chances are, if you have an account on a social networking site such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you've probably seen more than your fair share of memes. Those silly, quirky, sometimes even outrageous images with crude black and white captions that take the internet by storm one year and are all but gone the next. Here are a few examples of memes from our social media: But what specifically is a meme? Couldn't we use that word to describe other types of viral imagery, even predating the internet? That depends. Wikipedia defines an Internet Meme specifically as "a type...

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My Restoration Process: How I Digitally Restore Each Piece and Prepare It For Sale

Sebastian Certik aesthetic behind the scenes image restoration

My Restoration Process: How I Digitally Restore Each Piece and Prepare It For Sale

Last week, I showed you a YouTube video that demonstrated the process of non-digital poster restoration. This was not done using any kind of computer technology, which essentially means that it was done directly on the artifact itself. While such a process is definitely not for the faint of heart, what I do is also highly specialized and requires an understanding of the process and software involved. Not just anyone can do this, so with that in mind, I decided to follow up by showing you how I restore the art prints that I sell here. This is a basic...

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Video Review: Restoring a Faded WWI Poster

Sebastian Certik Golden Age Illustration Golden Age Illustrators Golden Age of Illustration James Montgomery Flagg patriotic posters video review

Video Review: Restoring a Faded WWI Poster

I've discussed the topic of digital restoration many times, and I have quite a few videos showcasing how I do it, but what about non-digital restoration? What does the process look like when it is done directly on the artifact itself without the aid of low-risk intermediary technology like Photoshop? It is these questions that made the above video, featuring the restoration of a faded WWI poster by James Montgomery Flagg, so fascinating to watch, mainly because it comes from a completely different perspective than mine. Here are a few highlights from the video that I found especially intriguing: Red...

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The Story of the 1920 Election, as Told by Contemporary Graphics

Sebastian Certik 1920s illustrations posters presidential elections sheet music art

The Story of the 1920 Election, as Told by Contemporary Graphics

After a long night of nervously watching the polls, I almost bailed out on writing a blog post this week, but since the current election is on everyone's mind, most likely including yours, I ultimately couldn't resist looking back one-hundred years at another election in the hopes of promoting a thoughtful discussion of our history as well as where we are headed. As someone who has always held a deep fascination with graphic art, I've always understood the impact that graphics can have in such an event, and more to the point, what they echo back to us long after...

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