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Creating a poster from a book cover
May 21, 2014 10:24 PM   Subscribe

I really want to create a poster from a blown up book cover, but I don't have a big enough image file. Might an academic library loan help me track down the book?

I would love to create a poster from the cover of the 1972 Polish edition of The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem.

I want to make it in A2 size, as an Etsy poster I'm also buying is that size. However this site says that the resolution I would need (2592x1944) is much bigger than the existing image I have. (Using Google search by image unfortunately shows that this image is the biggest scan online.) So I need a bigger scan.

1) Would a typical scanner be able to scan resolutions approaching 2592x1944? If not, would a custom print shop be able to do that?

2) The correct edition is available in many academic and similar libraries in the US, according to WorldCat (you have to click on "just this edition"): Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Library of Congress, Duke, Emory, Brown, Madison, Champaign-Urbana, etc. However, nothing in Southern California, unfortunately, where I live. Would these libraries ever ship a book of theirs to a library they might not be directly related to?

3) Is there another way I could get my hands on a copy/scan of the book that I'm not thinking of?
posted by lewedswiver to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I can't answer the scanning/resolution questions, but libraries do indeed loan books to other libraries regularly. Check the website for your local public library (or academic if you have an affiliation with a college) and look for information on Interlibrary Loan. There will likely be a fee.
posted by kbuxton at 11:08 PM on May 21


The book's illustrator was Daniel Mróz. Perhaps there is an archive of his work somewhere containing a larger version of this image but there may be copyright considerations.
posted by islander at 11:20 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]


As far as the scanning question, most typical household scanners these days can scan up to 600dpi. So as long as the book cover is at least 4.3x3.2 inches (which I think is a safe assumption), you should easily be able to get the scan resolution that you need. Assuming you can get your hands on the book.
posted by mekily at 11:47 PM on May 21


My experience making posters out of CD cover art says you'll start running into limitations caused by the printing process before you run into limitations of the scanner. 600 dpi will be enough to get as good as you can get. This cover looks like a good candidate for enlargement though. It seems to be all solid colors, black, white, and yellow.

Technically I believe making this poster would be copyright infringement, though the chances of any action are pretty much zero.
posted by aubilenon at 12:51 AM on May 22


If you are looking for another way to obtain a copy of the cover of that edition of The Cyberiad, a full page photo of that cover appears in the rather extraordinary book Tysiąc polskich okładek / One thousand Polish book covers. You can actually see that book cover in one of the photos of the book in this blog post about Tysiąc polskich okładek. While this book doesn't appear to be in a library close to Southern California, it looks like you can purchase a copy for about $40 total including international shipping to the US if you are willing to wait two weeks or so.

However, aubilenon's correct regarding copyright, as Daniel Mróz died in 1993, this particular cover of his won't be in the public domain until January 1, 2064 in Poland (70 years after his death) and January 1, 2068 in the US (95 years after publication).
posted by RichardP at 1:12 AM on May 22 [3 favorites]


Libraries will absolutely loan the book out through interlibrary loan across the country (our library has even done it internationally!)--just ask your local library to assist. Unless it's in a special collection, in which case it might be ineligible for ILL.

Copyright issues aside, I will say that if the book's cover is printed on a paper dustcover, then most academic libraries will have discarded the dust cover. Public libraries may have discarded it, or put a clear protective cover over it. If it's printed directly on the book's cover, then libraries may have put stickers with call number or library information over the image. So don't assume that the copy of book you get will be suitable for scanning.
posted by telophase at 8:07 AM on May 22


Yeah, a lot of the books I get through Interlibrary loans have no dust jacket; nothing but a weirdly generic plasticized-fabric cover. Aside from no art on the cover, there are often no words except for the title on the spine.

You might have better luck trying to find a large coffee table book with covering the subject of artistic book covers--something with an image of the book cover inside.
posted by blueberry at 11:15 AM on May 22


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