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Vintage Space Art Playing With Portals

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I saved the best of the pages from the few vintage kids' books I made into purses, and have long intended to hang these space-themed ones from an old school book in my office:


Trouble was, the pages were double-sided - and I kind of liked both sides.

Plus the pages are a bit yellowed, which makes them seem a bit dingy. So I did the obvious thing and scanned them so I could print copies of all four.

Once I'd scanned them in and spiffed them up in PS, though, I started thinking about replacing the text with something a bit more...inspirational.

Which led me, naturally, to the words of Cave Johnson from Portal 2:


I initially made this one with the full quote, but as you see it's a bit wordy and doesn't quite fit the schoolbook tone:

Funny, though.

For the remaining two prints I decided to balance out the set with quotes from GLaDOS, and oddly enough, they fit with the illustrations rather beautifully:


Let's just pretend there's a portal on the planet's surface, shall we?



I love how the astronaut actually looks kind of sheepish. If he'd been grinning it would have spoiled the whole effect.

These would be hilarious hanging in a space-themed nursery, don't you think? If only to see how many visitors actually read the art. (Has anyone done a Portal-themed nursery yet? And if not, WHY NOT?!) (And before you ask, yes, I have seen the Portal kids' room. And it's awesome.)

Anyway, I'm still learning my way around Photoshop, so I spent an embarrassing amount of time cleaning these up and arranging the text just the way I liked it. I bolded certain words the way textbooks do, found the closest matching font to the original I could, and for the third page I even added a few more stars to fill in the gap left by the reduced amount of text. I like how crisp and clean they look now, and most importantly, they make me laugh.

I haven't printed them yet, but I'll be sure to show you guys pictures once I have them framed!

UPDATE: A lot of you designer types are decrying my font choice. I get that. All I can say is I thought it was the closest match to the original text and fit the schoolbook vibe well - but I'll gladly change it if you have something better to suggest! Maybe I'll even try a fun art deco font to mix things up...

Posted by Jen at 1:43 PM Labels: , , ,

39 comments:

  1. I love it SO MUCH! My hubby and I are buying a house, and I would love to decorate his den with space-y stuff 'cause he's a rocket scientist. And since we both love portal, these are too cute!!! Would you be willing to make them into printables?

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  2. My husband and I are in the middle of putting our nursery together *right now.* I would *SO* put these on her wall. They brought a huge smile to my face, at least. Awesome job! Every house needs a little Cave Johnson.

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  3. Those are fantastic! Can't wait to see them framed.

    And now I think the hubby needs to play Portal 2...

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  4. I love this! What a fantastic idea.

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  5. I love this! What a truly inspired idea :0)

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  6. OMG PLEASE MAKE THESE INTO PRINTABLES! I WILL PAY!!!!!!!!

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  7. I don't have a need for a nursery...But I would make a portal themed bathroom with those.

    I have a plain white bathroom and I rent so I cant paint.

    Those prints on the walls in 8x10 size. Orange edged rug under the toilet, blue edged mirror on the ceiling over the shower. A shower curtain with the Aperture Science logo on it. Maybe a few accessories with the older logos. Could get soap and shampoo dispensers and label them with the various fluids used in the game.

    Damn, I'm too creative for my own freekin good.

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  8. Add me to the chorus of those would like to see these as printables or prints for purchase!

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  9. We're working on a space themed bedroom for my 2.5 year old son. Those are awesome-tastic and would look fabulous next to his Death Star planetarium ;) Just out of curiosity, what book were those pages out of initially?

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  10. OMG

    I would totally buy those prints!!!!

    They'd go perfectly next to my Firefly travel posters :D

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  11. I think you've made the must have item for this year's geek nursery. :) Awesome!

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  12. @ Tori - I *think* it was from this one. It's been so long I'm not completely sure, though!

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  13. @ Tori - Actually, I just looked at that picture & saw it's the "maps & flight" edition, so now I'm almost positive that's the one. I'm glad you asked!

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  14. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/113804-Portal-Themed-Nursery-Starts-Baby-Off-Right

    portal themed nursery.

    you do realise that whenever you ask a simple question, ten bajillion of us run off to Google it coz we wanna find it for you and be regarded as awesome as you? no? k, just checking. :-)

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  15. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/113804-Portal-Themed-Nursery-Starts-Baby-Off-Right

    Not sure if anyone else has shared this. I would like it to be a little more babyish though.

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  16. Comic Sans? Have you given up on life? ;oP

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  17. Oh no, Comic Sans... IT BURNS MY EYEBALLS!

    Besides that, these are super cute! :)

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  18. Wow - NICE! These would look so great framed as a set, or in matching frames that are grouped. I could see even changing the size of each one, so that the grouping is even more dynamic. Or, keeping them the same size with similar or the same frames, and then scattering them around. Anyway -- I like the pics and the quotes.

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  19. I was all, "Ooooh, I want those!" So, I seventeenth everyone else's suggestion to make them printable.

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  20. Confession: I've just nabbed all of them shiny pictures and filed them under a little folder called "Inspirational" on my PC. c: Someone mentioned the Comic Sans, but to be honest, as much as I hate the damn font it actually fits the images here and keeps with the orignal children's book feeling. Is that crazy? ...nah, must just be how cool Cave Johnson and GLaDOS are!

    If you recall an e-mail with a picture of a Portal cake sent to you some while ago (sidenote: I made a little cheery dance when I saw you e-mailed me back! too cool!), the shirt I got my man went nicely with it - also got him the "Best at SPAAACE" one, because let's admit it, that little fellow totally stole the show. ^-^

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  21. Comic Sans? Bleghhhhhhhhh. Otherwise, super cute...but that kind of ruins it.

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  22. I just want to say, I love how these look, and I think the font fits the pictures really well. Personally, I would keep the font how it is.

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  23. I think the original font looks MUCH better.

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  24. I love the idea! I am only disappointed to not see Star Trek NG or Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy quotes there!

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  25. why do people hate comic sans so? it's my favourite font. :-( so fun and quirky and just annoying enough to be naughty.

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  26. Haha! I was catching up on Reader and read this post for the first time after you added the update, and had to laugh because it was exactly what I was thinking about the font choice. It DOES fit in really well when you think about the context (children's textbook) but comic sans just makes me cringe.

    Have you tried century gothic? From what I can see of the original, it may be your best choice. It also looks to be bold and the spacing between characters seems to be further apart than normal. Just highlight your text in photoshop and alt + right arrow/left arrow to adjust the kerning. :)

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  27. I don't think this is Comic Sans. If you look at it closely, the individual letters are different. But I'm a font geek. I love these - so cute :)

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  28. How odd, you say that people are critiquing the font. The whole time I was thinking how much I liked that it looked like an old school text book would look. Good Job I say, Good job.

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  29. Don't listen to the detractors, the font totally fits here. I LOVE these!

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  30. I have 4 more week before I can figure out if my bean is a boy or a girl. We've decided that if it's a boy we're absolutely doing a space themed nursery. If it's a girl, it still might be space themed, but cuter space themed. I also like lily pads and frogs for a girl. Decisions!

    Anyway, if we do space I'll share photos. I promise :) Love the new art! I'm going to be hitting thrift stores looking for old space books now!

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  31. I'm not even a designer and the first thing I noticed was comic sans. Although my thought was "Hey - finally the appropriate use for comic sans!"

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  32. Great idea, but yellowed pages aren't dingy, they are VINTAGE! And I do agree with the others about the font (although I also think it's not Comic Sans -- Chalkboard, maybe?). Overall, though, I love how subtle this is, and love that it gets Portal into the decor without using orange and blue.

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  33. We are, in fact, decorating a space-themed nursery right now :-) Our other daughter has a dragon-themed nursery, so I guess this means we'll have science fiction and fantasy both?

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  34. I WANT TO BUY THESE. Please post them for sale on Etsy. I will love you forever.

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  35. I'm a longtime reader and first time poster, simply 'cause I'm a font nerd and I wanted to suggest Futura because it would look AMAZEBALLS on these fabulous prints. Seriously, they look fab, I'm so impressed with your constant craftiness. :)

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  36. So very awesome and I don't even know what Portal is. Please don't hate.

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  37. Seriously, I think most of the hate for Comic Sans is people hopping on the bandwagon, because somehow it's become "cool" to hate it. :)

    These are quite clever. You give me so many good ideas!

    I have found some pages of a couple of old copies of Alice that someone had cut out of the books. I am planning to frame 8 or 9 of them, and hang them along the stairs to the second floor.

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  38. Don't back down on your font choice. I think it's fine. I'm not a designer (I'm an short fiction author and publisher), but I find it extremely rude for other designers should cry about your choice of font. Screw them. It's not their work. Don't bow to childish pressure.

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