The Original Photoshop

My current free read is Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling, a comedian and screenwriter. The inside binding of the book is a repeating, silly little pattern of various phones, hamburgers, lipstick, stars, squiggly lines, and birds. While Kaling and her design team probably weren’t trying to mimic an Eastern art trend, this fun print reminded me of the textile printing by Asian and European artists in the 17th and 18th centuries. While Asian printed textiles were the real deal, the Europeans developed various technologies to compete with them. Big machines with handles, spinning wheels, and multiple moving parts (seen in the Lemire reading on p.905) accurately and quickly created and pressed patterns on different textiles. Kaling’s inside book cover pattern was probably mimicked and perfected through a web program like Photoshop. But Photoshop and the European print-making machine of the 18th century don’t differ too much from one another, as they both served to design and successfully execute a repetitive pattern, one for textiles in the 1700s, and one for book covers in the modern world.