[ModLib] Fading on _Medieval Romance_ (may be a resend--had a computer glitch)

Roger Lathbury lathbury at gmu.edu
Sun Apr 17 14:47:18 EDT 2011

Dear Ron:

I don't see the mystery. The $1.65 _Medieval Romances_ has an older jacket (natch) whose spine has been exposed to the sun. The $1.95 jacket, without the two names on the spine, has not been so exposed. They're the same jacket, basically, treated differently. Of course one is a later printing with an editorial change.

The yellow layer of ink is laid down first in printing. It doesn't fade as readily as the red, perhaps, because it has less white component diluting the ink It lies beneath the red layer, like layers of emulsion on old slide film. The yellow layer in the $1.65 jacket has been protected by the red layer, which, in this older jacket has faded away. You can also see this in the lower half where the magenta has lightened as have some of the other colors, leaving that light army grey green half at the bottom.

I'm sure. No jacket designer in his right mind would reverse a title out of yellow. Such lettering would not be visible enough when books are put on the shelf next to other ones as Modern Library Books were.

Moreover, these books are printed in quantity and are machine wrapped. To position a distinct but abutting color on the spine for a folding and wrapping machine to align would be to ask more of machinery, especially in the years of the $1.65 Modern Library, than it reasonably can do. Look at the precision of the fading. Wrapping machines do good work, but they can't wrap that precisely.

This is a three color jacket: magenta, yellow (looks to me brighter than process yellow, but I can't be sure), plus a third gold or gold-seeming color used in combination with the red on the bottom half of the jacket to achieve a fourth color.
I suspect it's not a metallic color because they are expensive and because they don't blend well with process colors.

Does this tell you what you want to know?



----- Original Message -----
From: Ron Holl <ron at scribblemonger.com
Date: Sunday, April 17, 2011 12:54 pm
Subject: Re: [ModLib] Medieval Romances (133.2)

Hi Roger,

Images attached.  Thanks!



----- Original Message -----
From: Ron Holl <ron at scribblemonger.com
Date: Sunday, April 17, 2011 11:21 am
Subject: Re: [ModLib] Medieval Romances (133.2)

The Yellow Spine 133.2 saga continues:

Barry: I agree, I've flopped back to thinking it is faded.
Looking at the
image from Jim at 400%, you can see orange along the spine edges,
and even
running horizontally between those thin gold bands at the bottom
of the
yellow section.

Joe: True, we may never know for sure.  And you can add Life and
Death of
a Spanish Town and Babbitt to common red spines that fade, and it
doesn'tbecome yellow.  Why this one?  Does this red have more
yellow in it?

Darrel: Given this is a common, we probably could experiment with
attempting to fade one.  I'll see if I can find an old EEPROM 
Roger: Thanks for the history on jacket printing.  From what you
know, any
opinion on this jacket issue?


But still, that yellow is so bright.  And we have the fact that 
yellowspines have only been seen on jackets with 379 titles.  
Perhapsthere just
is not a big enough sample.

There are over 130 folks on this mailing list; hopefully we can
get data
on more than just 4 or 5 jackets.  OK, maybe we have 7 or 8
(because some
that have responded have more than one copy).

ModLib mailing list
ModLib at thuban.owu.edu

Ron Holl
Scribblemonger Book Exchange

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