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 Continuing the theme we started a few weeks ago with the Vie Modern font and Grand Concours font., we are continuing to focus on fonts originating at the birth of Art Deco with the Paris Exposition of 1925. One of the exhibits was of design from the factories and design houses [...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Vie Moderne is a new font based on Art Deco lettering from the 1920s. It is typical of the French Art Deco influenced fonts which were featured in association with the International Exposition of Modern and Industrial Art in Paris in 1925. Vie Moderne includes a full character s[...]
Pyle Gothic is based on lettering designed by Howard Pyle, from his Adventures of Robin Hood and King Arthur and His Knights. It combines elements of calligraphy and a simulation of primitive printing techniques.The original characters were carved into wood blocks from which the black and white illustrations wit[...]
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[...]
Wolfram is a great example of early 20th century type design. It is bold and intended for use in posters and signage, but it has rough outlines for a mock antique look. It also has an unusually wide footprint for a very striking look.We originally produced Wolfram in the mid-90s, and it has been somewhat revise[...]
Every year around Halloween we come out with a new font that fits the spirit of the holiday, drawing on all sorts of sources for inspiration. You can find our past fonts in our Halloween Font and Art Collections. The font for this year is Undertaker, based on title lettering from Creepy magazine, the classic h[...]
Vasilisa is based on Russian folk art lettering from the pre-revolutionary period. It is included in our original Russian Fonts and Art package. It is very readable in English but also includes elements of Cyrillic lettering. It is evocative of rural Russian life and fits well with the hand crafted peasant wood[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Tantalus is a display font for titles with a basic Roman design and elaborately embellished characters. It features the more decorative versions of the characters in the upper case positions and a plain caps set in the lower case positions. It's a neat whimsical font and if you ne[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview We've featured some articles on the designs of pulp novel covers from the mid-20th century, including s look at the fonts used in those designs. We've also released fonts based on those designs, like suspicion. These old book cover designs are a great resource for [...]
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 [...]
Hendrix is one of our most classic and most quintessential psychedelic poster fonts. It is based on hand lettering from a number of posters and album covers produced in the 1960s and the early 1970s. It is a very striking font, quite recognizable and identified with the period. This new release has some signific[...]
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[...]
Too many years ago to count, I was lucky enough to attend St. Albans School in Washington, DC. It's a great school with a rich history and an association with the National Cathedral and the rich cultural heritage of the Episcopal Church and many of the traditions of the English public schools. It's a school with a lo[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Script fonts can be a real challenge to design, especially when they are designed to have interconnecting characters which require exacting kerning and character positioning. When we first developed Orphiel we did a lot of kerning work on it, but despite a g[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Mannering is a new font design derived from some samples of an uppercase letter set by Samuel Welo, with additional lowercase characters and numbers added to it in the same style. It is a sans serif font with calligraphic lines and distinctive embellished horizontal cro[...]
In January of 1891 Little Folks Magazine published a special feature of a calendar designed and illustrated by Walter Crane with accompanying verses by his eldest daughter Beatrice. Each of the 12 panels has a figurative depiction of the month, a decorated initial and a topical verse. In style they are rather reminisce[more]
BUY NOW Platthand is a font based on examples of lettering drawn from Elizabethan period maps. The upper case letters are embellished with extremely ornate flouishes, very dramatic. Many alternate flourished versions of the characters are also included. The lower case characters are not embellished t[more]
William Morris was one of the founders of the Arts and Crafts Movement and closely involved with the Pre-Raphaelite artists of the mid-19th century. His ideal of integrating art, literature and graphic design inspired a generation of artists like Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Millais and Waterhouse. Morris was an artist, po[more]
Click any font to see a larger sample: The culture of the east entices and allures. From the stony walls of Petra to the fabled spires of ancient Samarkand, the the legend of the great days of Caliphs, Wazirs and brave adventurers outshines the modern era of oil and petty tyrrany. W[more]
BUY NOW Pullman is a classic font based on commercial lettering from the 1930s. We originally adapted the font to a digital version in 1999 and it's been languishing neglected until now. So we've dusted it off and made some standard improvements and here it is, ready for the new millenium. Pullman[more]
The Pre-Raphaelite movement emerged in the mid-1800s as an attempt to return art to its traditional styles and themes. While the Pre-Raphaelites did draw stylistically on Renaissance models, the movement soon developed its own unique style and philosophy, producing art which was traditional, yet uniquely new. An artist[more]
BUY NOW Barataria is an elegant text and titling font with some unique features that really stand out for designing decorative logos with an elegant vintage look. It has a bit of a piratical look, a sort of more refined alternative to our Windlass font. This revised version features smoother outline[more]
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