Monday 14 January 2013

Simon Davis - "Take Me To Your Leyendecker!"

Arrow, good evening and welcome! This post proudly features Simon Davis' wonderful cover to Prog 1814, featuring Ampney Crucis and erm... the ambassador to Mars!

This beautiful image pays homage to celebrated 20th century American illustrator, J.C. Leyendecker. The artist was famed for his lavish advertising images, book illustrations and, perhaps most notably, his covers for popular American magazine the Saturday Evening Post. This wildly read magazine, first published in 1821, featured current affairs articles, human interest stories, humour and more and was noted for featuring lush artwork on it's cover and within.

Below is Simon's fully painted sketch for the cover, inspired by the 1928 Thanksgiving cover of the Evening Post... 

"Pleased to meet cha, creature!"

With that approved, Simon painted the image. Note the Leyendecker halos and the Evening Post parallel lines.

"Slip me some... tentacle!"

Before printing, head of design Pye Parr made a slight change. He says "After checking it was cool with Simon, I adjusted the way I do the colour correction a little bit to leave some yellow in the background and help with the vintage feel of the thing. Looks great I think!"

Couldn't agree more!

 The 'Vintage' cover...

And here's how it looked with the blurb, lovely...

More J.C. Leyendecker

It's apparent that Leyendecker's beautiful work is quite an influence on our very own Mr Davis. The three covers below could have been painted by Simon with his trademark heavy brush stroke backgrounds, foppish characters and crumpled clothing...

Similarly, this horse could have ran straight out of an Ampney Crucis story!

And this could well be the cover of Prog 1612...

Leyendecker was famed for producing iconic imagery for many high profile advertising campaigns, including the Arrow Collar Man, Kellogs Kids and Palmolive...

The artist painted lots of images for Christmas, Thansgiving and the New Year and is credited for cementing the image of the chubby red robed Santa Claus. I adore the first picture...

 An Unhappy New Year?

Thanks to Simon Davis for sending the sketch and Pye Parr for the additional information - gentlemen all!


  1. Nice homage to an incredible artist.

  2. Very interesting insight into the creation of this cover.