UPDATE - 3/27/04: Please note that I have finally updated this to include how to print DVD artwork (or, more accurately, where to go to download Shareware programs used to print DVD artwork).
Where to find it:
Being able to print artwork for your Springsteen bootlegs means you first have to find the artwork. There are quite a few websites with scans of homegrown and “official” bootleg artwork. The quality of the artwork, as well as the actual scans, may vary from site to site, particularly on more commonly scanned images of “official” bootlegs, any of which may appear on at least 3-6 different sites. For example, artwork for that hard-to-find 12/2/75 show in Boston may be found at only one site, so you’ll either have to live with it, or create your own. But artwork for, say, “The Full Spectrum” may be found at 6 different sites, so a little “comparison shopping” may be worth the time.
There are probably a dozen or so “essential” artwork sites, and at least 3 times as many that have at least something to offer. Fans looking for artwork should be aware that some of these sites do not always work consistently. One fan created artwork for each and every one of the 132 Reunion Tour shows and all of the Rising Tour shows, but his website had seemingly been down more often than not since the end of the Reunion tour, thus frustrating fans who continue to collect, trade & need artwork for these shows (he has since found a new host for his site – thank you Fernando!).
There are a few tricks to help search for a particular bootleg title or date. A Google search (www.google.com) using the keywords “Springsteen artwork bootleg (name of title)(location)(date)” will often yield multiple results, some of which may actually be useful. Often times, the artwork that you’re looking for has already been sought-after by somebody else, usually at the RMAS newsgroup. By surfing to http://groups.google.com and entering “rec.music.artists.springsteen”, you can go directly to the Google archives of the RMAS newsgroup. From there, performing the same search as above will likely yield results with “threads” that may contain the appropriate link. If you’re familiar enough with the “essential” artwork sites, you’ll have a pretty good idea of which sites carry predominantly “official” bootleg artwork, and which sites are great for the homegrown artwork. Another great source is the “Stone Pony London” message board. There is a separate message board for Springsteen Artwork, here: http://www.spl-messages.net/ubbthreads/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=UBB3.
UPDATE: One industrious fan had created a “Bruce Springsteen Covers Index” website, where he has listed separate pages for each year, and within each year, he has listed every known show, with links to all known artwork for that show, including multiple sites for the same artwork. It is truly THE essential website to find Springsteen artwork – even DVD artwork. That site is:
Some other fans have put all of their favorite links for Springsteen artwork into their own little websites and then provide that link to fans looking for artwork. Two such sites are:
How to save artwork:
OK, you performed your search and found your artwork. So, what do you do with it? If you’ve come across a “Zip” file, you’ll need to save the zip file on your computer and then use the free WinZip (www.winzip.com) program to “unzip” the file and extract the embedded files to your computer. If you’ve come across the actual artwork, it will usually be in the form of a JPG or PDF file. Right-click on these and choose “Save Picture As” (in MSIE) to save these images to your computer.
AOL users may find that when they right-click to “Save Picture As”, their only options are to save the files as either an “Art” file or a Bitmap (BMP) file. They should choose the Bitmap option, and then they should use “Paint” (this program usually comes w/ all Microsoft operating systems – go to “Start/Programs/Accessories”) to open this file and “Save As” a JPG file. Then they should delete the Bitmap file. By changing the file from a Bitmap to a JPG, the size of the file will be a fraction of what it was as a Bitmap, with no loss of quality.
What you need to print artwork:
A color inkjet printer of at least moderate quality, and good paper. Some people will swear by glossy photo paper, while others will choose heavyweight “matte” finish paper. This is really a matter of personal choice. Plain old copy paper isn’t recommended. Whatever paper choice you make, make sure you let the printer know your choice when you get around to printing the artwork. Most printers will allow you to choose the type of paper you’re using and also modify color settings as well. Unless you know what you’re doing, never hit the printer icon. Instead, by going to “File/Print” to print, you’ll have the option to modify your color settings and choose your paper type.
How to print artwork (CDR):
If you’ve saved “PDF” files, which are created using the Adobe Acrobat program, you’ll need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader program (http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readermain.html) to view and print the files. Once you’ve downloaded this program, printing is a snap. Simply go to File/Print, choose your paper and color options, and make sure the “fit to page” box is NOT checked.
For JPG files, I usually use Microsoft Word to print artwork. For front and back covers, you should be able to get 2 JPG images on a page. For “booklet”-type covers, one per page. To insert a JPG file into a Word document, go to “Insert/Picture/From File”. Browse to the location of the JPG files that you saved, find the appropriate file and choose “Insert”. If you’re inserting front & back covers into a single Word document, go to the bottom of the 1st cover in the Word document, insert a blank line, and then insert the 2nd cover. For Booklet-type covers, open a new Word Document. Go to “File/Page Setup” and change the orientation from Portrait to Landscape. Then insert the appropriate JPG file following the directions above.
You’ll also need to make sure your margins are wide enough to handle the JPG’s. In MS Word, go to “File/Page Setup”. Then go to “Margins” and change your margins. For Front/Back covers in “Portrait” format, make sure your Top & Bottom margins are set to about 0.30”. For Booklet-type covers, make sure your Left & Right margins are set to about 0.50”. (Hint: What I’ve done is created 2 Word documents as “templates”, one for Front/Back covers and one for Booklet-type covers, so I don’t have to go thru this process each & every time I want to print new artwork – I just open one of my templates, then “File/Save As” to give it a new name, and then insert the images)
Once you’ve inserted your JPG files and saved your Word documents, you’re ready to print. Simply go to “File/Print”, choose your paper type and color options and then print the document (but read the “Tips” below first!).
Tips on Using MS Word to print artwork:
1) What size should the covers be? Generally, these measurements will work w/ no problems:
Back covers (and front covers for quad-sized jewel cases) 4.67 H * 5.92 W (Inches) OR 700 H * 886 W (Pixels)
Front covers (for single/double/slim-line triples) 4.75 H * 4.75 W (Inches) OR 708 H * 708 W (Pixels)
Booklet Covers 4.75 H * 9.50 W (Inches) OR 708 H * 1416 W (Pixels)
2) How do I re-size the images? Most images that you insert into Word documents won’t be sized exactly as they should. After you’ve inserted an image into a Word document, right-click on the image, choose “Format Picture” and then go to the “Size” tab. Un-check the “Lock Aspect Ratio” box, and then set the Height and Width per above.
3) How should I cut the printed artwork? This is all a matter of personal choice. Some people will use a precision “Exacto” knife, while others will simply use scissors. I usually add a thin black border around each image in the Word document to use as guidelines when cutting w/ scissors. To add a border to an image, simply right-click the image, choose “Borders and Shading”, click on “Box” on the left and set the width to whatever you’d like (I usually use Ľ” or ˝”).
4) What if I don’t want to save all of the artwork? Saving all of the individual artwork JPG files can take-up a lot of space on your computer. Some folks have a 60-gigabyte hard-drive and save all of the JPG files as well as the Word documents. Others have a 6-gigabyte hard-drive that is stuffed to capacity. A friend of mine sent me the following suggestion: “I right-click on the artwork (JPG File) on the source web-page and choose ‘Copy’ (instead of ‘Save Picture As’), then I go to MS Word, right-click and choose 'Paste' to paste it right into the document. I then re-size it accordingly and print it. I rarely save my artwork to my hard drive unless it is something I am going to use multiple times, which is rare. They take up a lot of memory, even as JPG’s, and as much artwork as I print, it saves me that extra step”.
How to print artwork (DVD):
Best bet is to find a Shareware/Freeware program to handle the DVD artwork printing. The dimensions are generally about 10.75 inches by 7.25 inches. With the large dimensions, MS Word has a problem printing on Letter-sized (8.5 * 11) paper, even if you set the margins to zero. An alternative would be to use Legal-sized paper, but the problem there is that you can’t buy (at least easily) Legal-sized heavyweight paper. Best bet may be to use a different program.
2 programs that have been recommended recently (3/27/04) on RMAS are:
1) UnderCoverXP - http://jump.to/undercoverxp
2) MultiCoverPrint – http://alien-aus.com/software/ or http://www.grafxfreeware.homestead.com/multicoverprint.html
Written by: John Joyce (JSJoyceArtwork(at)aol.com)
Last Updated: March 27, 2004
Thanks to Flynn and Ellen for their ideas & suggestions. Questions, comments, concerns or kudos are always welcome!