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I have some old, classic computer games ranging from the 1980's to the late 1990's (eg. Shadow of the Beast, Starcraft, Total Annihilation, Awesome, etc.) with the original boxes. Some of these boxes have extremely cool graphic art printed on the front. I have the idea to decorate the walls of my home with enlarged versions of these works of art. I don't want to destroy the boxes in the process.

I Googled "how to copy games box art for wall picture" but there were no results. I'm at a loss for how to alter my query to be more effective.

What techniques might one use to copy and enlarge box art images to wall posters? Also - any legal or ethical issues with this? (I'm in the UK.)

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You can either scan the boxes with a high DPI setting, or take photographs of them with a semi-professional camera. In both cases you'll end up with a high-definition digital reproduction.

You might have to perform some post-processing in software like Photoshop to properly isolate (crop and adjust the perspective of) the cover, adjust the white balance and/or the colours, and, if required, increase the size of the image and add some noise or light blur to disguise the (Ben Day) dots that are likely visible.

Send/take the files to a printer shop, make sure the colours are displayed correctly on their calibrated monitors (use the same colour profile - ask an employee) and you're about done.

We can't give legal advise here, but doing something like this for personal use is generally considered legal, as far as I know.

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    If a scan of the boxes is performed, be sure to scan at a higher than normal resolution. When the scans are imported into, let's say, Illustrator and stretched to the output size, the resolution will decrease. Imagine the pixels being spread apart so that the resolution is no longer what you originally scan. This will allow for a decent output at poster size. For a trial, scan a postage stamp at 100 dpi, stretch it to 8.5x11 and see the decrease in quality. – agarza Jan 31 at 15:51
  • A scan at 300 DPI of what is not larger than A4 format should have sufficient resolution for the image to 'fall apart' into dots/'pixels'. I think enlarging it with a suitable sampling algorithm (e.g. 'bicubic smooth' or 'preserve details') and adding a light noise filter and/or sharpen filter should yield very nice results. – Joachim Feb 1 at 14:55
  • A lot will depend on the original size and final output size. Poster size (24"x36") shouldn't be too bad. Anything larger would need a higher resolution scan. – agarza Feb 1 at 15:05
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    There's a very good chance the print shop will not print them for you; they tend to be risk-averse and won't take the chance of printing copyrighted material without approval, even if it's just for personal use. – Allison C Feb 1 at 22:07

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