Headless Fred for Sheriff!
June 21, 2010 12:05 PM   Subscribe

Should I talk to a graphic artist about restoring an old campaign poster, or a different kind of artist?

Over the weekend, while cleaning out my late in-law's house for a yard sale, we came across a poster that my partner's grandfather used in running for sheriff in Minnesota, probably around 1920. It's torn in a few pieces, but most of the pieces are there. Except of course, for a small part of the poster in the upper right corner that would include the left corner of Grandpa's head, and part of the border.

I would love to have this restored, but don't know exactly who I should ask. A graphic artist? An antique expert?
posted by roomthreeseventeen to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total)
J. Fields Studio.
posted by crosten at 12:20 PM on June 21, 2010

If you're interested in framing it and putting it on your wall as opposed to restoring it for historical value, ask your local frame store. Not the mall place, but the nice, expensive place. They may not have someone on staff who can do it, but they're likely to know who can. I had a Jim Fitzpatrick poster (similar to this one) from the 70s that was damaged around the border, including a torn off part, after years of being stuck to the wall with blu-tack. They were able to repair it and restore the missing corner.
posted by immlass at 12:22 PM on June 21, 2010

Best answer: Make sure you get an estimate before committing to anything. Depending on what your local costs are, it can quickly escalate to where the real cost of having it professionally restored outweighs the sentimental value.

You might consider having it scanned at a decently high resolution and then taking it on as a "teach myself GIMP / Photoshop" project, and make it a labor of love. The principles involved aren't terribly difficult, but it does take time and a good eye. If you do get it scanned, make sure it's at a shop equipped for handling damaged originals; they should be using a carrier for your torn poster, so that it doesn't get hung up and torn even more during the scan. If they don't know what a carrier is, walk away; they are not the droids you're looking for.
posted by xedrik at 2:14 PM on June 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

This won't be cheap for a good graphic artist, which is what you need. If you need someone to realistically replace parts of someone's head, they need to be above average photoshop wizards and would probably bill in the $50 to $100 an hour range for their regular work. Your best bet is if you know someone who's like this and owes you a favor.

This would of course be making a "new" version of your poster for you to print. A graphic designer wouldn't be able to help with actually restoring the original paper product.

Otherwise, maybe try mefi Jobs?
posted by dripdripdrop at 2:30 PM on June 21, 2010

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