Spoof “I Can Read Movies” Book Covers

  • Fonts in Use
Fonts in Use, ScreenFonts | Yves Peters | February 1, 2009

Remember The Mike Flowers Pops? That retro sounding band whose 50s bossa nova version of Wonderwall – dust scratches and all – sounded so convincing that many people thought the Oasis song was a cover, not the other way around? La petite histoire goes that Noel Gallagher received numerous phone calls from the press who didn’t believe he had originally written the song.

Now meet Mitch Ansara who blogs on Spacesick (although he pretty much only updates his Flickr right now). Mitch created a number of mock 1960s paperback book covers for “I Can read Movies”, a fictional series of movie novelisations.

Well, the books came about from my involvement in the Make Something Cool Every Day group on flickr. They were partly inspired by my friend Moss’ totally awesome movie poster remakes, and all the musty old textbooks and digests that I used to love flipping through as a kid. I love movies more than anyone you’ll ever meet… and I have no experience, training, or confidence in graphic design or type, so I’m just having fun, really!

This gallery definitely proves that you don’t necessarily need “experience, training, or confidence in graphic design or type” to produce gorgeous work. What Mitch does have is an keen eye for that typical 1960s style, and for distilling and translating the concept of a movie to a simple striking illustration. The covers are clever and funny, and sometimes even flat-out hilarious – check for example the Highlander cover. But most of all, they look like the real deal, thanks to the delightful retro style of the illustrations, the appropriate colour scheme, the very good ageing effect, down to the little camera icon. The choice of type is spot-on: a wide Century and Eurostile Extended with a dash of Helvetica.

Keep an eye on that man.

Visit the “I Can Read Movies” gallery on the Spacesick blog here.

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  1. Jear, i really like this fake book covers. yayhooray started something wonderfull with the “make somethink cool every day” thread. Very inspiring things happen there.

    But, this series is based, like he stated, on the work of Olly Moss. He did this stunning “8 Films in Black and Red” set and the geeky Video Games Covers.

    Posted by Philip on Feb. 1, 2009
  2. what is the type used for the ‘Back to the Future’ title?

    Posted by Simon Robertson on Feb. 1, 2009
  3. Simon – that’s Craw Modern, the widest of what I call the bracketed modern display faces.

    Posted by Stephen Coles on Feb. 1, 2009
  4. Not “based on”. “Inspired by”. Like HE said.

    Thanks for the mention, Yves! You’re too kind! :D Even if you did accidentally call me Mike there.

    Posted by Spacesick on Feb. 1, 2009
  5. Yeah, noticed that — sorry Mitch. I was struggling with a prehistoric internet connection in our hotel so work on this post was very fragmented and chaotic. I guess the Mike Flowers Pops in the introduction had me confused.

    @Stephen: Thanks for saving my bacon, mate. :) As I didn’t have my FontBook with me (Three extra kilos in my luggage? No thanks.) I couldn’t find the face. I kept thinking its name was Crawford, so I was really close, but unfortunately no cigar.

    @Philip: Naw, you gave away the next post! :P I haven’t heard back from Olly yet, so I posted Mitch’s first. And I can assure you, it is “inspired by”. Like he said. ;)

    Posted by Yves Peters on Feb. 1, 2009
  6. Now that I’m back home where my FontBook is I checked something: Microgramma* was released in 1951, and Craw Modern in 1958. Not only do the covers look the part, but they are historically accurate as well. Spot on, Mitch.

    (*) The all caps precursor to Eurostile. Eurostile was released in 1962.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Feb. 1, 2009
  7. Holy crap, that’s awesome to hear! I didn’t actually research the dates; I just went with my instinct. But it’s so awesome to know that I was right! Makes me glad I’ve been holding off on using Souvenir.

    You’re a superhero, Yves.

    Posted by Spacesick on Feb. 1, 2009
  8. I can tell you one thing – we may like your stuff, we may even be completely enamoured with it, but whenever we spot historically incorrect choice of type, we will call you out. We’re ruthless when it comes to that. ;)

    Posted by Yves Peters on Feb. 2, 2009
  9. That ‘Face/Off’ cover is both awesome and hilarious.

    Posted by Chris on Feb. 2, 2009
  10. thanks stephen!

    Posted by Simon Robertson on Feb. 5, 2009
  11. These are awesome, I would so buy them if they existed!

    Posted by gerry donaghy on Apr. 30, 2009

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