Having looked at various versions of the original, rare Study In Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle, that first appeared in Beeton’s Christmas Annual, 1887, I have created this restoration of the original artwork.
I was working from this out-of-copyright image:
I’ve stripped away the ageing which darkened the paper of the covers and put the whites back in. Suddenly the design makes complete sense. The white around the “BEETON’S CHRISTMAS ANNUAL” is of course a layer of snow on the letters. The white behind the main title makes the words jump out.
One of the things I really enjoy about the Victorian era is this lovely clear design ethos, that really is eyecatching.
While I was working on this, my heart quickened with excitement as I suddenly “got” the design. Great stuff from those wonderful Victorian designers!