Cover Trend Alert: That 70s Font

Hey bibliophiles and font fanatics: There’s a growing trend of book covers designed to emulate the bubbly, serif text-heavy covers that emerged in the late 1960s and exploded in the 1970s. You know, the ones that used this font:

From left to right: In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote (1966), The White Album, by Joan Didion (1979), Portnoy’s Complaint, by Philip Roth (1969), Valley of the Dolls, by Jacqueline Susann (1966)

What was the original book that had this style? Surely someone has it deep in their garage-sale stacks. And why does it now only seem to be used for books written by women? Is this the new, designated “chick-lit” font? Or something to grab the attention from the artful noise on offer in the aisles and aisles of your favorite bookstore? Whatever the answer, we’re enjoying its resurgence. Here are some present-day examples:

Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes (2012), Sex and Rage, by Eve Babitz (2017 reissue), Not That Kind of Girl, by Lena Dunham (2014), Goodbye, Vitamin, by Rachel Khong (2017)

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mruzicka@ala.org'

About the Author:

Michael Ruzicka, Office Manager, was raised in suburban Los Angeles, received a BA in Creative Writing/Poetry at UC Santa Cruz, then moved to Birmingham, AL, where he spent five years owning an independent bookstore and earned an MLIS. He has brought his librarian skills to Vanderbilt’s Television News Archive, Battle Ground Academy, The Museum of Contemporary Art-Chicago, and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Michael is very excited to be a part of Booklist and call Chicago his home.

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