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Spionen some elsket sin neste by John Tanner

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Mar 26th, 2023. Artwork published in .
Spionen some elsket sin neste by John Tanner 1
Source: Little Stour Books. License: All Rights Reserved.

Spionen som elsket sin neste (“The spy who loved his neighbor”) is a novel by John Tanner (a pseudonym of Jack Matcha?). The first Norwegian edition was published by Pax Forlag in 1967.

For the jacket design, Peter Haars (1940–2005) embraced the aesthetic of pop art. In particular, he apparently referenced Roy Lichtenstein’s painting Pistol from 1964. The typography features Ringling Brothers in lowercase letters. To my knowledge, this face was exclusive to New York typesetting service Photo-Lettering, where it originated in 1962 as Xenotype 3488 and also went by the name Staudel Xenotype N. Haars probably didn’t use Ringling Brothers directly by ordering a setting from New York, but rather drew the letterforms himself, based on either a specimen or an in-use sample that he came across. The forms for p and t are different from a showing in a PLINC catalog.

Spionen some elsket sin neste by John Tanner 2
Source: Orfeus Publishing. License: All Rights Reserved.


  • Ringling Brothers
  • Helvetica




Artwork location

1 Comment on “Spionen some elsket sin neste by John Tanner”

  1. One year later, in 1968, a version of Lichtenstein’s Pistol was used by TIME magazine for “The Gun in America”:

    See also the jacket designs for Emma Lathen’s Ashes to Ashes (by Lawrence Ratzkin) and for Hubert Monteilhet’s A Perfect Crime, Or Two (by Stanisław Zagórski), both from 1971:

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