“The Astronaut” pulp paperback by Hank Searls in 1962
I have to admit, I’ve never even read the book, but ever since I came across numerous images of this paperback online, I’ve been fascinated not only by the ridiculous story, but the offbeat lettering and kitschy imagery on the cover. The vibe immediately reminded me of the Astronaut Jones skits from Saturday Night Live.
From Hanky Panky to Funky Typeface
Being built of primarily uniform weight strokes with angular rounds, wonky straights, and clumsy transitions, Astronaut Jones came together through pencil sketch really quickly. I even threw some silly astronaut themed dingbats into the font for the fun of it: the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, the signature “O” with the astronaut’s head in it, and an atomic spirograph style symbol. Creating an alternate set of lowercase and numerals only seemed fitting in order to allow for a more random typeset appearance like the dancing lettering of the original paperback.