The title for my upcoming album has been chosen! Trouble In Paradise has won, beating out Start of Something Big and plain old Isabel Rose by a narrow margin.
Now comes the fun part: designing the album cover art.
Trouble In Paradise could go a lot of different ways: it could refer to Adam and Eve and their expulsion from Paradise; it could refer to a night club called, say, “Paradise,” and the album cover could suggest the troubles of a singer in said lounge. I could be causing the trouble; I could be in trouble…
Artwork can always go in a million different directions. But it has to start somewhere, and that somewhere, for this album anyway, are the pulp fiction book jackets of the ’60s.
I’ve always been drawn to the kitschy-ness of these dime store anti-tomes. Can’t you see Trouble In Paradise as the title on the cover of one of those book jackets?
Of course, once I began looking into the styles of the ’60s, I found myself compelled to learn about where that style began.
The term “pulp fiction” originally referred to “pulp” paper magazines of the late 19th century which were printed on paper made directly from wood-pulp. This type of paper rapidly yellowed so it didn’t lend itself to photographs. The illustrations were painted or drawn instead, hence the colors and style of which I am so fond.
You have to keep in mind that back in the 1890s, when pulp fiction began, there wasn’t any TV or even radio yet. Pulp magazines delivered action, romance, mystery and heroes to exhausted workers, bored housewives and everyone in between.
Once movies came along, they borrowed heavily from the popular story lines of pulp magazines.
I love the rich color palettes and the dramas portrayed in these posters. They’re so eye-catching and evocative, they truly make me want to know more.
Once the genre caught on, whole magazines devoted themselves to these fictionalized dramas, written by some of the best authors of the time (and still in print!).
Here are two of my favorite pulp-inspired movie posters featuring none other than Veronica Lake and Miss Marilyn Monroe.
I asked my very own graphic design genius, Christina D’Angelo, to mock something up for me in the style we’ve all become expert on together since you’ve gotten this far in my post!
So… what do you think? Should I stick with this style, or explore something else entirely? Let me hear from you.