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Sexy Type: The Classics | FontShop
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Sexy Type: The Classics

Yves Peters
Last edited December 14, 2016

Can type be sexy? Erotic art exists since prehistoric man started painting on cave walls. The first erotic alphabets appeared soon after the invention of printing in the mid-15th century, yet these were illustrations rather than type, with copulating human bodies creating the letter forms.

However, for one decade – from the early 1970s to the early-to-mid 1980s – erotic art and commercial art converged during the Golden Age of Porn. Recurring typefaces on adult film posters of the porno chic period were characterised by soft and voluptuous letter forms, curvacious shapes with swirling swashes and ligatures, big ball terminals and liquid loops.

Compiled to accompany my Creative Mornings talk in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA on April 11, 2014, this Fontlist features the classic sexy faces from the 70s.

Line up to block in the seafood

Colin Brignall designed the Tango typeface in 1974. A groovy swirl of a font, Tango looks like disco party ready to lift off. Tango is one of many fonts that have come to symbolize the party music of the 1970s, familiar forms can be found on countless album covers from that era. Tango is a child of it's times - flashy, lively, and fun!

Hell: one way in and no way out

Everybody knows the iconic Black version, but thanks to their sturdy yet soft character shapes and large x-height the lighter weights of Cooper work surprisingly well as text faces.

The first cuts of Kabel appeared in 1927, released by the German foundry Gebr. Klingspor. Like many of the typefaces that Rudolf Koch... Read More

Remember to pillage before you burn

When looking from up close the reader can imagine the shape of the female body in the rounded serifs and sensuous curves of Oswald Cooper’s eponymous display face.

Don’t treat me like a potato

In the 1970s Ed Benguiat polished the original Bookman, removing many of its quirks and replacing the oblique with true italics. The swashes are smoother and meatier than the ones found in the source material.

ITC Bookman was an instant success when it was first released in 1976. The design was an interpretation of the original Bookman typeface... Read More

If you can’t join them, beat them

If you are in need of sensual curves and big balls you need not look any further than this high-contrast French buxom beauty.

Get hold of arm rest to fall the wound

In this design based on Carola Grotesk (H.Berthold & Bauer type foundries) and Boutique (Haas type foundry) the swollen rounded stroke endings leave little to the imagination.

Let us do the birds friend

The neo-script Lazybones entices the reader with bulging reverse-contrast curves and thick, meaty swashes on its soft slab serif capitals.

Beware of the brick in front of you

The liquid loops and swirling swashes on the capitals suggest the gushing and splashing of (body) fluids.

Colin Brignall
ITC 1974
Rudolf Koch
Linotype 1928
Oswald Bruce Cooper
Bitstream 1920
Edward Benguiat
ITC 1975
Robert Hunter Middleton
Manvel Shmavonyan and Tatiana Lyskova
Esselte Letraset
Elsner+Flake 1972
Profonts Studio