Before and After: Restoring Our 1890 Cover Image

The daffodils gracing our new cover first appeared on the Sutton and Sons bulb catalog of 1890. Founded in Reading, England, in 1806, Suttons went on to become one of the world’s largest and best-known seed companies, and it’s still flourishing today. (Learn more here.) We first saw their 1890 cover image on a Christmas card from our friend Alan Shipp of the UK National Hyacinth Collection. “I thought you’d like this,” he wrote, and we did. Months later when we still hadn’t found an image from an American catalog that we liked as well, we asked Suttons for permission to use it. Happily they agreed, and we’re grateful for their generosity! They emailed us a scan of the original and we went to work on it in Photoshop.

First Mike repaired the edges and made the original lettering disappear by painstakingly copying, pasting, and blending together other bits of the image. Then I did my best to return it to what it probably looked like before 124 years of fading and wear had taken their toll. We added our headings, tweaked it a thousand times, sent it to the printer for a proof, tweaked it some more, sent it back . . . and voila! We hope you enjoy it.

To see more of our antique cover images, go to pages 2 and 3 of “Our First 20 Years”.

2014-2015 Catalog Cover Suttons
2014-2015 Catalog Cover Finished