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Stephen King’s The Dead Zone

Contributed by Brian Phillips on Mar 4th, 2016. Artwork published in .
    Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

    Jacket of the first edition by The Viking Press (New York, 1979).

    Cover design for The Dead Zone, a supernatural thriller novel by Stephen King published in 1979.

    The typeface is Cortez, a peculiar Latin designed by Philip Kelly for Letraset in 1977. On its own it looks fairly clunky, but it works well in the use here. It puzzle-pieces together — with faux small caps, the inset article, and Stephen King’s name — to form a block of type that almost resembles a logo.

    In 1983, this design was reused for David Cronenberg’s film adaptation starring Christopher Walken and Martin Sheen.

    The typeface set in title case is pretty cool. It’s super quirky and reminds me of ITC Serif Gothic from a distance. It definitely has that old sci-fi novel quality to it. As a matter of fact, the Spanish movie poster combines a less elaborate adaptation of the logo with ITC Serif Gothic for the tagline.

    Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

    Paperback edition, Signet Books

    Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

    Movie poster (1983)

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    Film title by Richard Greenberg.

    License: All Rights Reserved.
    Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

    Spanish movie poster


    • Cortez
    • ITC Korinna
    • ITC Serif Gothic




    Artwork location

    In Sets

    2 Comments on “Stephen King’s The Dead Zone

    1. Jul 27th, 2016  2:59 pm

      See also the cover for the 1980 Stephen King novel Firestarter and the retro title for Stranger Things.

    2. Apr 7th, 2017  9:11 am

      The author’s name shows the alternate ‘t’ with descender that was included in the Letraset original of Cortez. Furthermore, the ‘p’ is actually a mirrored ‘q’, and the triangular tittle on ‘i’ has been rotated.

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