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1970s Paperback Artwork

Remembering a wonderful art style…

Hands up who can identify with this kind of artwork. For me it sets the time machine dials right back to the 70s and early 80s when paperback fiction sold in their millions and writers could and did lead luxurious lifestyles.

I love this kind of artwork, it is what it is and is very much of its age but at the time it conjured up wonderful images and story telling. Today, as I waited to go into a bank appointment I was struck by how uninspiring modern books look and more interestingly how a number of books had ‘retro’ cover artwork. That, surely tells you a lot.
As nice as nostalgia is and can be it should be remembered that there was also a lot of rubbish out there, the story to this book would, I imagine have been pretty average but who cares?! Style over substance every now and then doesn’t hurt anyone and kitsch in small doses can be fun.

So here’s to the artists whose drawings of men in safari suits and bikini clad women in speedboats captured the imagination of this boy and, I suspect my father too.


  1. Rod says:

    So much more interesting and inspiring than what we see today. I look at the jacket artwork credits for every book I read and nowadays it’s nearly always the same.
    A photograph credited to an agency like Getty and a graphic design company, basically a stock photograph and photoshop - it’ll never touch the likes of the image above.

    June 24, 2014 @ 8:42 am

  2. miles says:

    Absolutely! The vast majority of covers these days are soulless, in an age when they do battle with Kindle, Play Station etc you’d think they would try harder!

    June 25, 2014 @ 8:04 pm

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