In reverse engineering a letterhead, the actual image is as follows scanned as 300 dpi.


This is what I have come up with.


It is achieved by placing high resolution images, drawing rectangles and creating a clipping mask.

As it comes with Clients, no matter how hard I explain that the new (bottom) is actually better than the old (top), my Client made it very clear that he needs for the images to be 100% (not the term he used, but "as close as you can get them to be to show us that we are paying the right guy" was the term actually used) indenticall.

I guess my question is how would I go about giving the images a fuzzy effect. I have already applied the "feather effect" to achieve the white-ish borders in AI-CS5.

Maybe it is the fault of the scanner. But a ideal solution would be is to give some kind of mask/filter (I don't know these terms, but they come around often in PS & AI) to give a indentical/same color effects to all the images.

1 Answer 1


The reason the original looks fuzzy is because the original printout had the colors misaligned. The yellow channel is offset to the top-left. This can be recreated in Photoshop by converting the image to CMYK then selecting the Yellow channel and moving it slightly:


I'm 99% sure this is the result of a sloppy color registration, not a design decision. There was a recent question regarding misalignment as a style choice: Name for style of text logo where two colours overlap imperfectly?. However, this does not look like it was done for the style, it looks like an error.

I do not know of a way to achieve this effect in Illustrator. However, I would nix even trying to do so and explain to the client that your re-creation is how the print was intended to look.

  • Good answer. Misalignment was my thought. But I think it's intentional. Each channel shifted and independent grain/noise added to the separate channels.
    – Scott
    Dec 21, 2012 at 19:29
  • Thank you for your answer. The borders are not an issue. The issue is that all the 3 pics have an added same color to them. Possibly a light brown (not really sure) color added to them so they the images come up with an indentical added color (MIX?)
    – Jawad
    Dec 21, 2012 at 19:31
  • Or maybe the borders are an issue as well. I really don't know.
    – Jawad
    Dec 21, 2012 at 19:33
  • @Jawad, do you have the original document that was scanned? It could be intentional as Skaught pointed out; you should be able to tell by comparing it against any other color elements on the document. I still believe that the "brown" color is a result of misregistration/low dpi printing.
    – JohnB
    Dec 21, 2012 at 19:41
  • I do have the "original document that was scanned" and as @Skaught pointed it is the same as the one posted by me. The pics/images do have the yellowish fuzzy border around them and all the 3 pics/images has an "ADDED" extra color of brownish type. I do agree that it is most certailly a printing error but who can argue with the client?
    – Jawad
    Dec 21, 2012 at 19:44

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