Southwark, London



Victorian Posters & A Small Press Expo

Or Victorian Posters & Fun With Fonts. An Adventure With Steampunk Design.This is the copy that lands in my Forbidden Planet inbox. Ping![blockquote blockquote_style=”overlayed” align=”none” text_align=”center” cite=”- Forbidden Planet -“]
On Saturday 30th June, at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore, we will be hosting an event with a difference – welcoming a host of authors and editors from four small press publishers into a mini convention in our very own store!

From Newcon Press, from Jurassic London, from Myrmidon Books and Snowbooks, we’ve gathered a swathe of talent – from some of the most respected names in the industry, to the latest award winners and nominees, to the very hottest of hot new titles… we’re throwing open our books department to celebrate the love of genre which brings us all together. Come down on the day to mix and chat with the authors in one of our trademark ‘open plan’ events!

We’re also celebrating the launch of Newcon Press’s fabulous ‘Hauntings’ anthology featuring a truly chilling fusion of the best writers around!

So come and join all of us – Nina Allan, Christopher Priest, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Pat Cadigan, Sophia McDougall, Lavie Tidhar, Rod Rees, Gareth L Powell, Una McCormack, Ian Whates, Jonathan Green, Rebecca Levene, Paul Kane, Marie O’Regan, Andy West, Mark West, Rebecca J Payne, Theresa Derwin, Ben Baldwin, Adele Wearing, Esther Saxey, David Thomas Moore, Glen Mehn, Thomas Emson, Alan Baker, Danny Acacio and Sarah Anne Langton – and we promise to make it a day to remember!


Highly amusing as I’m actually supposed to be signing the Jurassic London title at the event – which I’m not too sure in any way increases it’s inherent desirability – but interesting as the words ‘poster’, ‘window display’, ‘Sarah designa poster’ and ‘Steampunk’ are being used. Okay. Cool.

I love Victorian-ish posters where font selection showed zero restrait and ornamentation ran wild. If there’s a space stick a swirl in it. Apply drop shadow at will. The design involved breaks every notion of any ‘font rules’ they tried to drum into you at Art College but for some unaccountable reason the Victorian results always seem to look stunning. The wood block looking nature of the printing process gives them a very ‘small press’ feel. Ideal. And I’m sure a little Heath Robinson guy was winding a giant printing press handle to produce these. Well, I’d like to think so anyway…

So armed with a bit of reference it’s time to go hunt down some fonts. The ever handy dafont has a lovely free selection. Just head off into the ‘decorative’ section that designers normally shun. There’s twirly type a plenty. The Vectorian also has a nice big free font list and some cool vintage vector ornament. And I hit typeface gold at Cthulhu Lives with a wonderfully generous selection of H.P. Lovecraft typefaces for all your tentacally needs. So lots of playing with Photoshop’s custom shape tool later and with more multiple drop shadow than I think is actually legal these days… a poster appears…

Victorian poster for the Forbidden Planet Book Small Press Expo
That seemed to go down well so I ended up designing another Steampunk pic for a Forbidden Planet book publishing event…

Victorian poster designed for a Forbidden Planet's book event


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