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A suggestion for props: form-fillable auction catalogue

Gaslight Jazz Age

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#1 nclarke

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 10:41 AM

I'd like to see a form-fillable prop that has the bones of an auction catalogue as the core and a series of fillable fields for an auction title, auction house, location and the various items being sold. There are several official scenarios that either use an auction as a hook or have an auction as a way to acquire artefacts. I'd love to have something as a handout that looked the part. Ideally one for the Gaslight period and one for the 20's would be great but I have little skill with the operation of an appropriate application and can only hope someone put's such an item out in the wild.

 

I know that there are already a number of template sites about that have various pre-made options but they tend to be far to modern in design and nothing I've already spotted really matches the tone of a 1920's auction for antiquities or musty tomes.

 

Nigel




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#2 carnage_lee

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 10:55 AM

Ohh, what a lovely idea!


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#3 carnage_lee

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 07:40 AM

I know that there are already a number of template sites about that have various pre-made options but they tend to be far to modern in design and nothing I've already spotted really matches the tone of a 1920's auction for antiquities or musty tomes.

 

Nigel

 

Can you point me in the direction of those so I can gather some ideas?


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#4 FreddieF

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 08:32 AM

I could have a crack at this perhaps. I'll jot a note down and have a play around to see what I can come up with. Having a look at some examples of 1920's auction catalogues they don't look overly fancy.


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#5 nclarke

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 09:07 AM

Carnage_lee, I just entered auction catalogues in a Google search.

 

FreddieF, I'm thinking that it's the art deco/art nouveau flourishes and the fonts that will set the period tone for the auction catalogue. Any things to make the period props a lot more interesting that printing out a list on white paper from an inkjet printer



#6 FreddieF

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 09:22 AM

FreddieF, I'm thinking that it's the art deco/art nouveau flourishes and the fonts that will set the period tone for the auction catalogue. Any things to make the period props a lot more interesting that printing out a list on white paper from an inkjet printer

 

Yes, there are a few examples of 1920's catalogues on a quick Google image search that provide apt inspiration. They are very similar to the British Museum collection catalogues that ran up until around the 1950's, using multiple fonts on the front and the inner page to provide information about the auction house, address and the actual items/collection being sold. I wonder if layers could be incorporated into the PDF to allow the front boards to be produced in different colours, as well as a white version if printing onto coloured stock. You might even be able to add in page elements that can allow the user to add in pictures of lots as several of them appear to have black and white plates included.


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#7 kirkd

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 09:52 AM

Its entirely possible to create an editable PDF where there are image placeholders that can be swopped out for proper images along with text fields that can be filled in. I'm happy to assist on this as I have done very similar things in the past as part of my day job.


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#8 nclarke

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 10:26 AM

Hooray for YSDC and the helpfulness of the members here.



#9 kirkd

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 06:33 PM

I'm a graphic designer and sculptor so I spend most of my time making things anyway. If its something that I can use, double bonus.

 

I had a bit of a search online and I found this site with some good examples from the 20's and 30's. It doesn't look like there's anything tricky or fancy about them.

 

 http://www.lannaanti...tion-catalogues


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#10 nclarke

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 08:22 AM

Kirkd, you're correct in that there's nothing fancy about them but when you have no graphic design skills and no access to a program to design them beyond WP stuff it's harder than asking for help from the YSDC community. People like yourself and DCE are whizzes with DTP software and obviously can whip things  like these catalogues up at the drop of a hat as you do things like that every day.

 

Nigel



#11 kirkd

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 10:10 AM

I didn't mean to sound snooty, it was more of an off hand comment that its quite straight forward, rather than some of the stuff I've had to do in the past.

 

I'm happy to put something together which could be used as a generic set of layout templates. Let me see if I can find some better examples and throw some ideas around. Have you got anything specific in mind?


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#12 nclarke

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 12:08 PM

kirkd, No way did I think you were being snooty. It's just that I realise that different people have different skill sets and access to software and equipment and as a retired person skills that I didn't acquire during my working life don't seem to have the priority now that I don't have to find time to learn them.

 

Looking at some of those 1902 period catalogues in the link you provided there seems to be a front page that has a graphic border (celtic knot style?) containing the name and location of the auctioneer and their office, the focus of the auction and then interior pages that have a description of the items and possibly/probably a picture depending upon the material being auctioned (probably pictures for artefacts but not books).

 

I see the template having a predefined border on the front with text fields (possibly with specific fonts predetermined) for the name of the auctioneer, place of the auction and a date and time. Inside a two column layout with the gutter side having text fields for data entry of the descriptions and a graphic field on the outer side for any pictures.

 

This effectively makes it a two page template with the option for extra interior pages either as separate sheets or by adding extra pages by hitting return at the bottom of a page (may be problematic in a pdf). By making the template A5 it would be easy to include a front and back cover on a folded A4 sheet with interiors pages slipped in up to the number needed.

 

Nigel



#13 kirkd

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 07:07 PM

No worries. I just didn't want to suggest I was saying it was easy for anyone to do. I have daily battles sometimes at work with people who subscribe to the idea that if you do it on a computer, it must be easy.

 

So, going back the catalogues, I was thinking of making a set of single page pdf's each with different layouts in it, that way people could possibly mix and match layouts as they see fit. The one problem I see is with some home printers is them not printing double sided. It may be easier to print one page, flip it over and feed it back into the printer to do the back. The trick then is getting them to line up. Having a wide gutter that can be trimmed would help with that.

 

It could be possible to make a word format document which could be opened in free software like open office, that way you can add more pages if needed.

 

I need to put a couple of orders together from my Etsy shop tonight but I'll try and find a few hours either tomorrow or over the weekend to test some bits. I'll drop anything I put together on here for anyone who is willing to give it a quick beta test.


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#14 nclarke

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 07:45 AM

I know what you mean about the registration issue. I did some headshots for a Mythic Rome game for Expo and when I sliced up the four to a page shots I found that the pictures on the reverse had been cropped due to this problem. My own printer does double-sided in that it feeds the first page and then drags it back through to do the reverse. It works well enough for text (I normally use 1" / 2cm margins) and I suspect you are correct about wider gutters usually avoiding any issues.

 

My writing tool of choice is Libre Office and I find that handles Word docx documents without issues in most cases. However I'd be very happy with anything that can give me a presentable looking prop that enthuses the players.

 

Nigel



#15 dce

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 10:07 AM

Looks like I am a bit late to this discussion about props ... but I will certainly be very eager to grab a copy of whatever PDF templates kirkd (or others) produce. I think this is a marvellous idea, nclarke.

 

BTW: another potential source of inspiration for 1890s era catalogues of weird books would be "The Starry Wisdom Library", the absolutely beautiful book by PS Publishing. Andrew Leman (of HPLHS) did an outstanding job of typesetting this in an evocative period style.

 

 

Dean (from Adelaide)


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#16 FreddieF

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 10:10 AM

That is a neat looking book, Dean. Might have to pick myself a copy up.


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#17 kirkd

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 02:24 PM

I had a bit of a long meeting earlier so have thrown a front/back cover together quickly to test the theory so if anyone wants to give it a quick spin to see if it works then the link is below and the file is just over 3mb in size. Sorry to everyone who doesn't use A4 paper sizes but you should be able to print to fit page from acrobat.

 

http://kirkd.co.uk/y...editable_v1.pdf

 

I've modified one of the covers in photoshop and it should be ok to fold in half.

 

Let me know if anyone has any comments/suggestions. I may spit my dummy and tell you you're using it wrong though :P


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#18 nclarke

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 03:00 PM

I just downloaded it, filled it out and printed it. Bloody marvellous. I'd need to trim the white edge all round the printed area but that's not really an issue as I have a large paper cutter. The dark red gives a very period feel to me even if it might not be absolutely correct. I'd usually print out something like this on coloured thin card directly but the built in colour does a very good job.

 

I tried it using the inbuilt to Chrome pdf handler, Adobe Acrobat X, and Foxit PDF Reader and all worked without a hitch.

 

Now if I can just work out how to set the font size and style to something period appropriate (or does require to be fixed by the pdf authoring program?). I'm guessing the content should be in something like Times with perhaps a larger font for the Auction House field, things like like that.

 

Thanks for taking time to provide this proof of concept piece Kirk.

 

Nigel



#19 sasori

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 03:23 PM

I love this. I'm not great when it comes to adobe acrobat, but is it realtively easy to change the font?



#20 kirkd

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 04:45 PM

So the font is fixed in size and type in the pdf unless you have something that can edit it, I think... I tried to export it for word and the image size went all over the place so I don't think that would work either.

 

its a bit of a drawback with creating pdfs from what I can remember, but most of the time I've just used them to create forms to be filled in so I will look into it a little bit more.

 

I used Times Roman as the base font as I thought it would be a nice generic one, also the fonts get embedded into the file so could cripple the size depending on how many go into it. I will see what else I can do.


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