Video Cover Artwork from the 80s/Stuff Stephanie in the Incinerator

ranging from unintentionally hilarious to creatively inspired, from peculiar to just plain shoddy, the hand drawn artwork and typography from 80s video covers is tangled up in my aesthetic sensibilities and as much a part of me as Milton Glaser, Saul Bass or Eric Gill.

All of the above designers were impressed on me from an early age, but it was at 6 or 7 years old, wandering through the video rental store that I became obsessed with the salacious, sleazy and garish covers and the sexy/violent/forbidden/terrifying/taboo events that were promised inside. I would  run to my father with a big clamshell VHS box in hand, and try and persuade him to rent Nail Gun Massacre or Death Ship, completely at a loss as to why he never wanted to watch such intriguing and sensational movies.

This was before video stores would just carry 20 copies of each of the newest releases and sold fucking haribo and walkers sensations, before they became homogenous, soulless and bland . Every cassette, every beta-max or VHS, was different, and it smelt of old cigarettes in there, and it was a seedy, exciting jungle of forbidden stories. An obese man sat behind the counter, all chip grease and pedo-chic, who wheezed at the effort of raising a B&H up to his sweaty face, and you’d expect to have found him in a run down sex shop, selling second hand wank mags, tie-dyed with spunk and curled at the corners, and marital aids the colour of skin grafts, and novelty condoms, and cock rings and clitoral stimulators that look like a tools to torture women who cant orgasm.

and I would have to stand on tip-toes to reach up and slide off the cases with my finger tips so that I could read the synopsis on the back, drawn in by the covers; all metallic tinted letters, meat cleavers, guns, drop shadow typography, skulls and tits; all painted by hand.


I dreamed,


one day,





to draw




click on thumbnails for fullsize images

props go to Critical Condition Online for the images and for creating a virtual VHS shrine

Critical Condition Online


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