Vintage Graphic Dissect #001

Filed under:Art Images, Graphic Design, Graphic Design Tutorial, Images, Vintage Graphic Design — posted by Jasper on 2010/09/12 @ 2:29 PM

Today, I’d like to break down the graphic layout that was involved in putting together the cover of “Lady Killers” magazine from 1964.

A. First things first. Pick a striking image as the non-text focal point. In this case, it’s a full color photograph of a seemingly dead or unconscious woman.

B. Another non text element. The silouhette of a person standing over the seemingly dead or unconscious woman. This element was hand drawn and not a photograph.

C. The magazine/document title, “Lady Killers”.
This should be captivating and be the most important text object on the page.
This is obviously hand drawn, most likely with a pencil.
To achieve this, try a couple different pencils other than a standard #2 to determine what works best for you.
A good “cheat” would be to typeset the font that you want and print it on a white piece of paper with a 5% or 10% grayscale fill or a very thin stroke with no fill.
Scribble in the shapes of the letters to achieve the desired effect.
When you’re happy with the piece, scan it, then adjust the contrast and black/white levels of the scanned image in photoshop.
Also, take notice that the words “Lady” and “Killers” are separated by a small image of a syringe.

D. A small yellow banner across the top left corner with some text information.

E. Small upper-case/lower-case text above the secondary text object focal point.

F. Larger upper-case text object with an exclamation point for emphasis.

G. Morbid, eye-catching headlines, which describe the contents of the magazine, left justified and separated by white bullet-points.

H. Very small informational text object for the magazine’s cover price, not meant as a focal point.

Some other observations..
Only one font was used, aside from the custom lettering for the magazine’s title. I strongly recommend sticking to only one or 2 fonts when creating a page layout.
However, I can’t pick out this font. It’s not Helvetica or Arial, but I like it a lot.
The best way to identify a font that looks similar to others is by comparing the upper-case “R”s and I cant pick this one out right now.
Another observation.. Although the graphic includes a full color photograph, the colors are still very minimal. White and Golden Yellow are the only colors used in the text objects.
I also recommend keeping the text colors in most layouts to a minimum.
Thanks for reading.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace