Friday, November 04, 2005

A Different "Cover Story"

Originally uploaded by waffyjon.
Here's a cover image you won't see in my column a World Famous Comics... notably, because it's not from a comic book! I guess you can call it "Games They Never Made," however.

Y'see, the newspaper I work for in Olympia publishes a weekly free publication called ApartmentFinder Weekly, in association with Most weeks, the sales reps in charge of this publication wait until Thursday to even think about what the cover image will be (it hits the streets on Tuesdays, but has to be completed by Friday at 5 p.m., just to give you an idea of what the timetable is). In the past, in an attempt to get interest in the publication going, they've featured a maze, a local re-creation of the Abbey Road cover, dead celebrities in a laundromat reading the tabloid, and so on. Well, last week, I got an idea to create a cover image featuring an Apartment Finder board game of some kind! I knew with the graphics software we had, and with some appropriate images (and tweaking of those images), I could make something up that would look cool!

The "game pieces" you see were created from images made availble from Adbuilder, a website the newspaper is subscribed to that provides graphics and ad designs. I used a combination of different Photoshop filters and effects to make them appear plastic, and then made them different colors. The game board itself was created in Illustrator, and then rasterized in Photoshop so I could put it in perspective. The same thing goes for the game box. Adbuilder didn't have any kind of decent play money image, so I had to find something on the web.

I actually completed this whole image on Monday, while things were a bit slow at work, and presented it as a fait accompli to the sales reps... and they loved it! They scrutinized it in detail to figure out what all the spaces on the game board said (hey, I went for authenticity, but I have no idea how playble the thing would actually be).

On Thursday, the job ticket came in for the cover, with the instruction that I had the cover image. It then was about all of five minutes work to put the cover together, and it was approved immediately, natch!

The publication hits the streets this Tuesday, as I implied before. If you live in the Olympia area, you might want to grab one and keep it -- you never know but that I might some day become famous, and this very low-distribution throwaway publication could be a valuable collectors' item!

Or maybe not. I do plan on grabbing a few copies myself for my own files... and besides, there's a coupon for a free 12-oz. Slurpee inside it!



  1. Hope they gave you some well-earned dinero for your work. Very cool, Jon.

  2. Thanks, Justin... unfortunately, as it was part of my usual work, it didn't pay me any extra.... but hopefully, it'll be remembered (along with all my other outstanding work) when review time comes around in February!



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