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PHOTO & ART RESTORATION

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Jimmie Spheeris album art project: Sony Music Special Products

Sony commissioned Art101 to restore the late singer-songwriter's 4-album catalog and adjust the LP art to fit new CD inserts and tray cards.

From a restoration standpoint, Jimmie's 1971 "Isle of View" debut LP was easily the most challenging. Original film negatives and press plates were long gone. No one in Sony's art department could find anything in the Sony archives.

Jimmie Spheeris "Isle of View" album art restoration

I began the laborious process of scanning the best portions of three badly faded and scuffed LPs, then digitally restoring them pixel by pixel into a single composite image with various photo and vector art editing programs. The image was then cropped to CD insert size and new typography added with a digital version of the same font and color used on the original release.

Jimmie Spheeris "Isle of View" album art restoration

Jimmie Spheeris "Isle of View" album art restoration

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Restoration of the cover art for Jimmie's 1976 "Ports of the Heart" LP presented similar challenges. I scanned the only art available — two badly faded and scuffed LP covers.

Jimmie Spheeris "Ports of the Heart" album art restoration

Sony's timeline for production of new CD art was tight. The swimming pool water — which comprised the bulk of the original cover — was damaged beyond reasonable and timely repair. I acquired a new swimming pool background photo and adjusted its color and contrast to match the original art.

Jimmie Spheeris "Ports of the Heart" album art restoration

The best sections of Jimmie's photo were removed from the restored composite to create a workable mask path. Missing sections of the resulting image were painted in by hand with photo editing software. Finally, the restored image of Jimmie was layered over the new swimming pool shot.

Jimmie Spheeris "Ports of the Heart" album art restoration

Matching the typography from the original LP proved to be a surprising challenge. I searched for fonts across the net, but was unable to find anything that exactly matched the sans serif stencil style used on the original release. However, the font is quite similar to one I own: Futura. The solution was to set the type and snip it apart to recreate a stencil effect.

Jimmie Spheeris "Ports of the Heart" album art restoration

Used by permission of Sony Music Entertainment

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