More Pulp Art at Pulpcovers.com
Last year we featured an overview article on pulp novel cover design, and since then we’ve continued to look for other resources on mass market book and magazine cover design from the 30s, 40s and 50s. In a recent search I stumbled on pulpcovers.com, a site which features hundreds of covers, tending towards the more risque and unusual, including vintage erotica, exploitation fiction and men’s magazines.
The collection is large and the images are of very high quality, but the blog-style format in which they are presented is cumbersome. That aside, there are a couple of qualities here which stand out. The first is the emphasis on quality cover art. The covers are picked for the excellence of the illustration and in many cases the featured covers include not only the cover as published, but variant versions and in some cases copies of the original art without titles. The second is that the collection is very strong on early science fiction, adventure, mystery and fantasy magazines, going back into the early 1900s. And, of course, if your tastes run to the salacious there are a lot more good examples of early erotica and “true crime” magazines than I’ve seen in other collections, plus a large selection of classic lesbian pulp.
For our purposes the site is mainly useful for research. It’s not as strong on outstanding cover lettering as some other sites, but it’s great as a guide to more obscure publications and even early out of copyright illustrated magazines which might be worth adding to our collection in the future, thought I suspect we’d have to be very lucky and very persistent to find copies of some of the magazines on the site in decent condition.
Visitors should be aware of some of the peculiarities of the site. Although the material is presented in a random chronological order, all of the postings are arranged into categories, which are quirky but can be useful. You may also notice postings following peculiar patterns, such as relationships of similar titles or themes.
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A great many years ago when working in game publishing I had a real fascination with doing titles in a strong, super-bold font called Bolt Bold. The truth is I rather overused it. In doing some research I find it on more than a dozen different game books I wrote in the early 80s, all quite collectable and out of print today.
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Escargot is based on lettering from the cover of an early pulp novel I came across a couple of months ago. It's a strong example of a distinctive style of sign and poster lettering from the 1930, characterized by super high contrast between the weighting on the le[...]
Treadway is a new, original design in the tradition of futuristic advertising scripts of the mid-20th century, inspired by fonts like Kaufmann and Gillies, but with a stronger, more clearly defined look, stripped down to its most stylized essentials for a very powerful visual impact. It is the kind of type you'[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Lyceum has the stylized shape and look of a font designed for the program at a lecture hall, hence the name. It is super bold but remains highly readable at fairly small sized, though the contrasts are dramatic. It features only an uppercase characters set because the st[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Quicksilver was designed as one of the original featured fonts included in our Psychedelic Fonts Package. It was developed into a full font from a sample of lettering from Quicksilver Messenger Service's live album Summer of '68 and posters for shows associated with it [...]
In honor of Cyber Monday, which some people are now expanding to be a whole Cyber Week, we're releasing St. Ives, a new modernistic font with unique riser and descender characters which give it an unusual linear look. It will be featured in a new edition of our Futuristic Fonts which will be released late[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Potsdam was one of our earliest font releases, first produced in 1992 based on samples of 19th century decorative German type. It was one of our first fonts designed for MacIntosh computer users and follows the naming convention for Mac fonts of that era, being named after a city. [...]
Alexander Rodchenko (1891–1956) was one of the premier artists of the constructivist movement in Russia. Although he was a sculptor, painter and photographer, he is most remembered for his graphic design style in book and poster design. His unique and dramatic style defined Russian popular art of the early Revol[...]
In an article last week we explored the origins of the font used in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained and a bit of the history of the Django genre of films. That was part of the process of the development of an original font based on the lettering used in the original Django, a process similar to what was p[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Cosmic Dude was designed as one of the special original fonts developed for our Modern Poster Fonts package. The character forms are based on samples of hand lettering from a late 1970s rock show poster. The character set includes numbers, punctuation, uppercase letter[...]
In the week leading up to St. Patrick's Day it's all about Celtic design, so our featured classic font has to be something with a Celtic theme. That being the case, there's no better choice than our bold and beautiful Padstow font. It's named after the town with the most famous festival in Cornwall and has a uniq[...]
When we did a font (and a feature article) recently based on a design by Alexander Rodchenko, the result was a very cool font, but while it was based on Rodchenko lettering, it is not the style most associated with his work. The tall thin look of the Rodchenko font is less typical of his work than the heavier,[...]
Alecto was originally released in 2002 and was one of the fonts developed for our Futuristic Fonts package. It has a unique science fictional look, combining some of the look of an OCR font with pure fantasy elements. It's just the kind of thing you'd expect to see on the side of a spaceship in an epic space ope[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Squiffy is a fun font. It has a background in arts and crafts style font design, but rather than the regular, architectural character forms and arrangements, the characters are wild and irregular and highly varied. There are two distinct versions of every character, with[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Our Munich font was first released in 1998 and has been revised several times since then. This latest version includes substantial improvements in the outlines of the characters and a new set of simple upper case initials. Munich is based on one of the classic lettering styles used on[...]
Our gothic font collection is a compilation of our most interesting fonts based on gothic type and late medieval calligraphy. It covers the range from the historical styles in which gothic printing had its inspiration to the ornate heights of complex gothic fonts from 19th century Germany. This includes fonts in the[more]
It's South by Southwest time in Austin and for me that means it's time for my annual visit to the Flatstock poster show. As always, the show was great, but every year it seems harder to get to than the year before as SXSW spreads out over more and more of Austin with ever more ridiculous numbers of bearded hipsters in [more]
While I still think it may be some sort of obscure and premature April Fool's joke, an article called Kerning, Kerning, kerning through the years in the Washington Post presents a mildly humorous presentation of the story of a 14 year old research genius who figured out that switching from a heavier weight font to a li[more]
I was shopping in my local HEB grocery store this weekend and found myself in the soft drink section, confronted by a wall of cool retro-looking bottles of all sorts of sodas from the Dublin Bottling Works, a company based in Dublin Texas which produces a full line of specialty soft drinks, apparently mostly for distri[more]
At the start of every year we put out a special sampler package of the fonts and art which we released in the previous year at a very low introductory price. It's a great way to try out some of our products. Now it's time to release the sampler for 2013, with a great selection o[more]
In the early 20th century, before the outbreak of the Russian Revolution, the Art Nouveau movement crept into the failing empire by way of Alphons Mucha and the Slavic Folk Art movement in Czechoslovakia. Russian artists picked up on the ideas of these movements and began producing new styles of art for a growing [more]
At the very beginning of the summer Disney released Maleficent the first in a series of films retelling the Disney versions of classic fairytales from the point of view of the villain. Maleficent is a visually stunning film combining high end CGI animation with live actors and Angelina Jolie with unbelievably accent[more]
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