Prior to the WSJ Hedcut, Inceptive View, Part Two

all images, c. Kevin Sprouls

This is Part Two of Prior to WSJ Hedcut, Inceptive View. Before I took up my position at The Wall Street Journal to develop the hallmark portrait style known as the Hedcut, I was working hard at school. Tyler School of Art is where I earned my BFA, and in Junior year I took the course called Typography. Joe Scorsone was my teacher, and I learned a lot. By the end of the semester, I merited the award, “Least Present in Class”! The reason for my absence was chiefly the completed project you see here. Joe was nice about it, and gave me an “A”. In my defense, Much time was devoted to long night-time hours on the printing press, setting the type by hand, etc. But, let’s get into it:

I resume where we left off previously

This image alludes to the afterlife, with the souls of humanity transitioning away from this mortal coil. My room-mate had a big picture book of natural wonders… that’s where I got the stalagmite reference in this illustrattion.

Here’s the image I also used on the cover. All those points of ink!

At Tyler, I didn’t make use of the library very much, I regret to say, but this ballerina was found inside of a book there. The hatching was an interesting touch, and I think the shading expresses some movement in this illustration.

Here is the final image. I tried to convey a Christiological effect in illustrating the face, and kept the top of the main figure’s head bright to imply enlightenment.

The only thing left is the final page, which contains the technical specs of the work:

Moonlight Express all right! That press was rolling at all hours. Here is a detail of one of the plates:

That will do it for me, for this week. I hope you enjoyed spending time with my early work, rarely seen! — it’s been my priviledge to share it with you.

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