Thursday, June 17, 2010

Arkham Death Certificate

Here's a vintage-style death certificate from Lovecraft's Arkham. Opening the PDF with Adobe Acrobat Reader or a forms compatible viewer will allow you to fill in the blank fields with typewritten text using an embedded Freeware font.

This is the first time I've used form fields in a printable prop, so it would be helpful if you could leave a comment mentioning any problems. I also opted to use a light dotted outline to mark where the paper should be trimmed instead of using crop marks. If you find the marks easier to use I can make sure they're included in future projects.

You can download the PDF over here. Here's the JPG version:

Here's the original document the prop is based on:


James Floyd Kelly (Jim) said...

The cleaned up (new) version doesn't look right... too perfect, you know? Look at the original it's based on and you can see the imperfections in the typeface. Love the original... new one needs just a bit more tweaking for realism... but it's very close.

Propnomicon said...

@ James Floyd Kelly

That's something I had concerns about, and I think you're right. Modern printers, particularly laser printers, have become so good that you can't rely on grain being added during the printing process.

On the next PDF I'll lower the intensity of the blacks a bit more (I'm at 80% saturation, but I think 70% wouldn't be out of line) and add a touch of blur and grain.

Jeff said...

Is 1965 the right time frame for this, too? I was thinking an earlier version might look a bit more simplistic. Even homespun.

cleireac said...

I'm actually a little surprised. I would have thought that there would be a line indicating the county Arkham lies in.

Looking at the 'real-world' example shows that you are right, but for me, it would have made me believe it if there was a line indicating the county.

Propnomicon said...

@ Jeff

I'm working on acquiring some more period examples. This was mainly a test for working with form fields.

@ cleireac

The only county mention seems to be in the attesting statement. I'm sure other versions of the certificate would mention it more prominently.

James Floyd Kelly (Jim) said...

I wonder how much it would cost to get your Arkham seal created with a real stamp like a Notary Public uses?

Propnomicon said...

@ James Floyd Kelly (Jim)

The last time I looked I think it would have cost around $75. It's one of those "neat to have" items I just can't bring myself to spring for yet.

Raven said...

Beautiful replica! ... and ... one minor quibble:

In your jpg real example, the signature is written on the dashed line marked "Town Clerk", and typed in the space below that.

However, in your pdf form, the bottom type-able field is on that dashed line, not below it.

Propnomicon said...

@ Raven

Thanks, that slipped right by me. I'll fix it in the next version.