Images from my archive are the only ones used. This way, I know exactly where they came from (which is explained on the back of each card) and there's no worry about permissions, etc. Respecting copyright is a concern of mine, so copyright-free images are all I use. (Copyright is complicated; find out more at the U.S. copyright office web site.)
|The girl illustrating a story in the Dec. 1873 issue|
of St. Nicholas magazine catches my eye.
She seems perfect for a book plate
So, the image is scanned, duplicated,
then, the copy* is cropped
and lightened. *I always leave the
original image intact in case I need
to go back to it later,
|She is removed from the background,|
and cleaned up a bit by erasing lines,
which will make a crisper image.
Then, she is flipped to face right
(because at this point, I decide to
make her into a card and want her
to face the side that opens).
|Next, she and the books are colorized|
using Photoshop, and more books are
added to the bottom right since she
is looking in that direction.
|The card looks a little bare, so a gradient|
background is added, and a thin border.
The background color is altered during
printing to add more variety.
|She is put into a card template I developed, then the information|
is added to the back of the card, and she's ready for printing!