At the heart of my PAC project – creating a collection of books using content from The Times Archive – is a re-interpretation of old news in a modern way. I do not just want to create a pastiche of historical newspapers – facsimiles of front pages, archive photography etc – particularly on the front cover. The collection itself will be sub-divided into subject categories which will be inspired by the areas covered by the newspaper but, more importantly, led by the subjects that the audience for these books will want to read about. One of the categories will be sport and I have highlighted a couple of old sporting tales that I am going to try to illustrate. The Test Match in 1956 when Jim Laker took 19 of the 20 Australian wickets is one. The Rumble in the Jungle – Ali’s title fight against Joe Frazier in 1974 which took place in Kinshasa in what was then Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo).
The headline above is hoe the final day of the Laker Test match was reported in The Times of the day, but a reproduction of that headline or something something like this cover of a book about the Test Match printed at the time, just wouldn’t be right:
Having read all the match reports, it is the final paragraph that sums up the achievement… “In Australia’s second innings he took 10 for 53, in the match 19 for 90, and yesterday 8 for 26 in 36 faultless overs. Surely there may never again be anything like it.” It’s this last one that signifies what this match meant, so I thought I’d try and design a cover based on this. To make it clear that it’s about cricket, I’ve taken inspiration from the classic cricket scoreboard – pre the digital age where numbers were made up of tiles of metal…
… and not the digital screens we see today:
And after several hours battling with Illustrator, here’s the result:
Let me know what you think!