New Book on the Totally Awesome VHS Video Cover Art of the 80s and 90s

As we all move ahead into the world of digital media, casting aside our old books, music, and movies, we don’t usually realize that we’re also tossing out little bits of art and graphic design history. Yes, those dusty old VHS tapes from the ’80s and ’90s are well on their way to becoming collector’s items. And not just for the campy kicks of big hair and cheesy synthesizer soundtracks in the films. The cover art on those boxes is now the subject of a new and highly entertaining book, VHS: Video Cover Art: 1980s to Early 1990s by Thomas “The Dude Designs” Hodge.

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Published by Schiffer Publishing, the 264-page hardcover book is like a Noah’s Ark for ’80s graphics and typography. You should probably read it while wearing acid-washed jeans for maximum effect. It contains over 240 full-scale color photos of incredible video cover art (both front and back so you can savor the ridiculous copywriting too). These images haven’t seen the light of day since the last Blockbuster Video store closed its doors, and would probably be lost to obscurity if not for an obsessive effort to collect them by the author.

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And who better to describe the book but The Dude himself:

Represented in this new title are obscure gems to cult classics in all your favorite genres of Action, Comedy, Kids, Thriller, Sci-Fi, and Horror—from the sublime to the ridiculous. Some are incredible works of art, some insane, some perfectly capture the tone of the films, some capture that tone even better than the films themselves, and some have the most tenuous link imaginable! However, all, as you will see, are amazing and inspiring works of art, which will captivate the imagination along with feelings of excitement and wonder, like stepping back into your local video store once again.

—Tom Hodge

Here’s just a tiny sampling of what you’ll see in VHS: Video Cover Art.

Just remember: Be Kind and Rewind!

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BMX Bandits

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Black Roses

20150513-SPACE-WARS

Space Wars

Death Code Ninja

Death Code Ninja

Dead Man Walking

Dead Man Walking

The Avenger

The Avenger

20150513-DEAD-END-DRIVE-IN

Dead End Drive-In

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Posted on: May 13, 2015

Mike Rankin

Mike is the Editor in Chief of InDesignSecrets.com, InDesign Magazine, and CreativePro.com. He is also the author of several lynda.com video training series, including Font Management Essential Training, InDesign FX, and InDesign CC: Interactive Document Fundamentals.

3 Comments on New Book on the Totally Awesome VHS Video Cover Art of the 80s and 90s

  1. Totally awesome! But that sticker that says “Forward” instead of “Foreword” totally gags me with a spoon!

    • Thanks, Rick:

      On my first day here at Schiffer Publishing, I misspelled the word Forward and was promptly corrected. I haven’t made that mistake since. And I am glad to say that this mistake was corrected on the actual jacket cover. We must have had an earlier version of the cover floating around our network. Thanks for gagging.

      Best regards,
      Jesse
      Mkt Dir
      Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.

  2. I worked on VHS covers for Lionsgate, TVA Films and Christal Films during the 90s, great time making horror covers and floating heads, it was a fun time that I really miss, but the pay was terrible. 🙂 I’ll have to take a look at this book, maybe some of my work is in there.

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