In 2004, we co-founded a small paperback crime imprint called Hard Case Crime, dedicated to publishing (and republishing) hard-boiled American fiction in the style of vintage paperback originals. Over the last two decades, our list has grown to include lost books by Gore Vidal, James M. Cain, Ray Bradbury, Ed McBain, Joyce Carol Oates, Harlan Ellison, Cornell Woolrich, Erle Stanley Gardner, Michael Crichton, Pete Hamill, Robert Silverberg, Mickey Spillane, and convicted Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt, who was a pretty good pulp novelist before he turned his hand to actual felonies. Stephen King liked the line enough to write three original novels for us (which is the only reason we’re sometimes in profit).
Our logo was designed with soft, wobbly outlines to mimic the look of a tenth-generation photostat. We use faces that were common in mid-century publishers’ art departments, de-kerned and respaced to match the rhythms of hastily set metal type, and supplemented with hand-drawn lettering based on period models. The legendary Robert McGinnis, creator of the iconic images of James Bond and Holly Golightly, has been one of our most prolific contributors, returning to the field of illustration to provide over two dozen original cover paintings. Branding, art direction, and book design by Signal.