Hat Attack

Well, Groom inspired me to tackle this particular ds106 assignment: Graphic Gift, added to the Assignment Bank by the inimitable Michael Branson-Smith. A summary:

Find or scan an old advertisement (high resolution) and create a piece of cool clip art by extracting and cleaning up a particular element. Be sure to use a PNG file type to preserve transparencies, and try to make a high and medium resolution version. Inspired by Phil A Go’s awesome Toyota Corona Graphic Gift.

Groom got fancy and deposited a whole animated Jack Nicholson in the back pocket of his graphic gift. I went for a simpler idea, and I’ll admit I caved and used Photoshop. I fully endorse Groom’s advice to experiment with the free and full-featured open-source image editing tool, GIMP, but I don’t have it installed on this particular computer.

I knew that what I wanted to work with was a standard icon of our noir exploration, and a quick Google search found me a page from the 1956-1957 Fall/Winter Sears Roebuck catalog.

Isn't he dapper?
Isn’t he dapper?

I pulled this into Photoshop, and quickly used the magic lasso tool to outline that gorgeous hat.


Once I had the whole thing selected, I copied it, created a new layer, and pasted it n.


I turned off visibility of that original layer, and used the Transform tool to add a jaunty angle.


And now I can offer everyone in #noir106 this fedora icon, angled perfectly for you to use in all your visual assignments.





I wish I had found a higher resolution version of the page, so that I could offer a larger version.

I will say that I found tons of amazing hats in old Sears Roebuck catalogs, so I think I’m going to keep doing this until I have a huge collection of vintage hats tosshare.

Note: The top version will work well on a light background. The bottom will look okay on a dark background. The dark version was hard because the original catalog page is white, but this should be okay — I figured a dark background version was important given, well, noir. 🙂



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