True Crime

September 29, 2008 on 2:39 pm | By | In Gigs | 2 Comments

I’ve always loved, loved, LOVED the covers that graced all the various pulp magazines from the ’20s through the ’40s. Their incredibly eye-catching blends of lurid images, imaginative, fun letterforms and brilliant color palettes always spoke directly to my pop sensibilites, and has had an immeasurable influence on what I do. So I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said I was bubbling over with perspiring enthusiasm when I accepted this assignment from Josh Baker at Taschen America: he asked me to design the cover for “True Crime Detective Magazines: 1924-1969“, Taschen’s 336 page tome on that particular pulp genre. They wanted a cover that was a direct reflection of the hundreds of pulp covers contained in the book. Particularly challenging was the integration into my design of ten separate blocks of information. I pored over hundreds of pulp covers looking for stylistic clues to help me design all these separate elements. I also searched for ways to keep them organized in a cohesive design. It was necessary to employ a variety of techniques including hand-lettering, straight typesetting and combinations (in varying degrees) of both. One thing which really helped the success of this cover was being able to use the smolderingly hot femme fatale illustration (from Real Detective—January 1938) which I was given to work around. The finished cover can be seen above (together with a few prime examples of the book’s contents).


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  1. hello there, mr. doret! great work indeed. i got that book and love it. what i really would like to know: the continuous text typo inside the book – is this a Special typo designed for the book, or maybe i can get it from somewhere and use it myself?

    Comment by marcel bontempi — February 11, 2015 #

  2. ¡And I tip my sombrero to you tambien, mi amigo!

    Comment by Michael Doret — October 1, 2008 #

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