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The Roswell Incident

Contributed by Jack Grimes on Jul 11th, 2020. Artwork published in .
    “Never before published” and “best-selling author of The Bermuda Triangle” are both provable, but everything between them is a little shaky.
    Photo: Jack Grimes. License: All Rights Reserved.

    “Never before published” and “best-selling author of The Bermuda Triangle” are both provable, but everything between them is a little shaky.

    The Roswell Incident is a 1980 book by Charles Berlitz and William L. Moore published by Grosset & Dunlap.

    The book purports to contain recently-discovered and never-before-published information on the famed UFO crash that allegedly took place in New Mexico in 1947. While he is not credited, it largely references interviews carried out in 1978 by the late physicist and ufologist Stanton Friedman. From the inside jacket flap:

    Despite the numerous UFO sightings throughout the world, there is still a healthy skepticism that UFOs are merely the product of some overworked imaginations. Just suppose, however, that one of these “imaginary” UFOs made a crash landing at a place that could be Air Force or other investigative teams. Suppose, further, that the ship was made from a metal unknown to man, and had a definite control panel with writing in no earthly language. Finally, suppose that humanoid extraterrestrial beings were discovered within the UFO capsule, and that at least one of these beings was still alive when discovered.

    Berlitz, a linguist and fringe researcher known for his writing on paranormal topics such as the Bermuda Triangle and Atlantis, had collaborated with Moore on The Philadelphia Experiment – Project Invisibility the previous year.

    The Roswell Incident is notable for essentially creating the present pop-culture narrative of the alleged UFO crash, military recovery operation and subsequent government coverup. Despite a lack of concrete evidence, Berlitz and Moore explain that the debris found on a Roswell ranch in July 1947 was not a secret balloon-based radar experiment but in fact the wreckage of an alien spacecraft which had been struck by lighting the night before while attempting to observe U.S. nuclear activity.

    Several chapters are also dedicated to addressing the UFO phenomenon in general, citing rumored sightings by Apollo astronauts and presenting several related theories (including the existence of pyramids and other ancient ruins on the Moon) as unquestioned facts. Like much of the 1970s-and-80s paranormal literature boom, it makes a deeply entertaining though factually questionable read.

    The wonderfully eye-catching front cover uses Neil Bold for maximum impact on the title & authors, followed up by a justified blurb in Helvetica. This shape is repeated on the title page opposite a map of Roswell and the surrounding area borrowed from the Champion Map Corporation (with text set in various styles from Univers).

    The interior uses Baskerville for body text, News Gothic for image captions, and occasionally Futura for lists and tables. Sadly, a designer is not credited anywhere in the “acknowledgements” section.

    For some reason the foil-stamped spine under the book jacket uses Eurostile, which isn’t seen anywhere else on or in the book.

    Curious who decided that “BY” needed more lines next to it here as opposed to the cover.
    Photo: Jack Grimes. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Curious who decided that “BY” needed more lines next to it here as opposed to the cover.

    Now that’s what I call a table of contents.
    Photo: Jack Grimes. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Now that’s what I call a table of contents.

    News Gothic is used to differentiate image captions from normal body text.
    Photo: Jack Grimes. License: All Rights Reserved.

    News Gothic is used to differentiate image captions from normal body text.

    An interior spread with a table of UFO sightings by astronauts, neatly set in Futura.
    Photo: Jack Grimes. License: All Rights Reserved.

    An interior spread with a table of UFO sightings by astronauts, neatly set in Futura.

    My suspicion is that Eurostile is just what the printer had access to for foil-stamping.
    License: All Rights Reserved.

    My suspicion is that Eurostile is just what the printer had access to for foil-stamping.

    Typefaces

    • Neil Bold
    • Helvetica
    • Baskerville
    • News Gothic
    • Futura
    • Univers
    • Eurostile

    Formats

    Topics

    Designers/Agencies

    Artwork location

    1 Comment on “The Roswell Incident

    1. A great use of Neil Bold! Somehow this face tends to get assigned for disaster content, from UFO crashes to floods and nuclear war.

      Now I got Soul Coughing’s “Unmarked Helicopters” stuck in my ear. Could be worse. Thanks, Jack!

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