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.
New Font: BigBlok
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 Startling Stories was a pulp-era science fiction magazine known for its lurid covers by Earle K. Bergey and its eye-catching title designs. It was a companion to Thrilling Wonder Stories and Fantastic Stories. The magazine was very successful in the immediate pos[...]
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. [...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO We have done a number of fonts based on unique, historic movie titles. The most well known and widely circulated is our Captain Kidd font, but we have another historic movie font based on an even more famous movie, our Locksley font which comes from the titles of the Adventures of [...]
I was out to dinner for my daughter's birthday and we went to a nice restaurant in downtown Austin called Boticelli's. Much to my surprise the logo of the restaurant was strangely familiar. It was in our Sprite font, shown to the right. In this new edition we have improved the kerning and spacing, expanded alt[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Sanhedrin is a decorative futuristic font, which features two distinct sets of different characters and a number of additional special characters. It draws some characters from the Greek alphabet and also has some unusual art nouveau character forms and a strange biblic[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Iphegenia was one of our early designs, a creative advertising script font with a modern, hand-drawn look but regular character forms and a nice even line to it. It has high readability despite its decorative look and works well in combination with a variety of other fo[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview There's a peculiar style of letters that seems to only show up on some signs and letterpress posters and it caught my eye when I saw it being used in the recent poster for the National Day of the American Cowboy. It's like a western style "egyptian" font with big [...]
Dahlgren is a heavyweight, square shaped font which works well for titles and display uses. Its an original design, with a standard character set and a set of outline characters. It takes its name from the Civil War era engineer who designed the Dahlgren Gun. You can try the DEMO version of Dahlgren for fre[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Our original Folkard font has achieved near legendary status as one of the most interesting calligraphic title fonts of the contemporary era. It has been enormously popular and appeared on movie titles, book covers, t-shirts and games. However it is not the only [...]
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[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Highball is a bold font in every sense of the word. Yes, its weight is heavy and pronounced in the traditional meaning of bold, but it is also of an extreme height which could be considered bold, and of a boldly progressive style. Highball features a full character s[...]
I don't know what came over me one Halloween, but I couldn't get the idea of dancing skeletons out of my head. The classic dance of death, but a bit more expressive, with the skeletons working together to form the letters of a font. This resulted in the design for the Bonyeard font, where each letter is made [...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview You may recall a couple of months ago when we had some font samples posted on the page to vote on. Well, the winner of the vote by a significant margin was a sample of lettering by Samuel Welo, and now as promised, it is available as our newest font: Carillon. They f[...]
Film director Sergei Eisenstein was a major influence on the Constructivist movement through his collaboration with Alexander Rodchenko and by inspiring other artists of the era. Thus it seems appropriate that the final font in our Constructivist Font Collection should be named after Eisenstein, especiall[...]
Sternhagen is a classically attractive font with a modernized gothic look which combines traditional elements from the high middle ages with a bit of Art Deco style. It will eventually be part of our Gothic Fonts Collections, but for now it is available singly.Sternhagen has a complete upper and lowercase charact[...]
The process of digitizing illustrated works by Walter Crane continues. The latest entry in the collection is Floral Fantasy in an Old English Garden a work somewhat reminiscent of A Flower Wedding featuring a combination of poetry and fanciful illustrations of anthropomorphized flowers which are quite lovely. The le[more]
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decorative Initials font consists of characters which combine basic letter forms with artistic embellishment, often in the form of floral or geometric patterns used as a background or intertwined with the letter. Decorative Initials have their origins in medieval manuscript decoration where complex and colorful chara[more]
This is a special collection of borders (and three illustrations) drawn by Louis Rhead for William Morris' translation of The History of Oversea. These are striking borders in Rhead's unique art nouveau style, well suited to various adaptations. The collection contains 13 borders and 3 illustrations, the complete d[more]
Thanksgiving is almost upon us and it isa great time to celebrate family and the harvest and remember some history. Part of that history can be told in the form of unique fonts, including many which were created for special occasions to add decoration to holiday cards or invitations. Printers have been ornamenting for [more]
In our endless acquisition of graphic arts resources we come across oddities from time to time. One of those is this collection of classic fairy tales told through illustrations by Frank T. Merrill, which were published in a series of children's books called Heart of Oak. They are here free to download as a bonus for [more]
Too often when looking at antique books we concentrate on the contents and ignore the covers, but some book covers are artworks in their own right and cannot be ignored, this is even more true with eBooks which are more and more causing content to be divorced from packaging. In the early 20th century, before the adv[more]
As part of Great Britain's participation in the 1906 World's Fair in Chicago, legendary Arts and Crafts artist Walter Crane was comissioned to produce a special commemorative book in a limited edition. The result was Columbia's Courtship, an epic poem about American history, written and hand lettered by Walter Crane wi[more]
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