An independent archive of typography.

The Devil You Know book cover

Contributed by Herb Lubalin Study Center on Feb 24th, 2021. Artwork published in
October 2020
The Devil You Know book cover 1
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

Cover of the book by Charles M. Blow, designed by Tré Seals, using his redrawing of the Jim Crow typeface [now available as VTC Ruby, see comments], as well as his, yet to be released, William typeface.

In an Instagram post, the author of the book, Charles M. Blow, explained the design decisions behind the cover of his latest book, The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto:

We have a cover! I insisted on a black designer for the cover of my forthcoming book, “The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto.” We scored with the amazing Not only is the cover arresting, the typography has its own black history backstory. The large font is called Jim Crow. Jim Crow is a 1933 and 1949 re-casting type of a 1850s font called Gothic Shade. It was often used to indicate political motifs. Tré redrew it specifically for this cover. The smaller type is called William, based on the infographics and data visualizations of W.E.B. Du Bois’ from the Atlanta University social study for the 1900 Paris World Fair. Tré also redrew it for the cover. Also, the colors just happen to be the colors of my alma mater, @grambling1901, a historically black college.

In another tweet, Charles noted that the colors used on the cover also reference the book cover for James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time.

The Devil You Know book cover 2
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

2 Comments on “The Devil You Know book cover”

  1. Tré Seals has released his interpretation as VTC Ruby. I’ve updated the typeface credit to reflect this. Ruby is available from Vocal Type. The typeface comes in 4 styles (Regular, Shading, Hollow, Solid) that can be combined for chromatic effect. It’s named after civil rights activist Ruby Bridges.

  2. To celebrate Juneteenth, Tré Sals has released the design previously known as William under the name VTC Du Bois.

Post a comment