- Page Count: 128
- Size: 7.5 x 10 inches
- Format: Paperback
- Publication Date: June 2003
- Price: $24.95
- ISBN: 978-0-9724240-4-2
IN LONDON, more money is spent on sex than going to the cinema. Tart cards are the means by which providers of sexual services advertise, and they have become as ubiquitous a symbol of that city as the red telephone boxes in which they are found. Since the early 1980s these advertising cards, posted in public phone booths around London, have evolved with technology into a sophisticated graphic and sociological form. Over 13 million cards are distributed annually. Read the cards in the boxes and you get more than just a hint of another London. More than 350 contemporary and historic tart cards are illustrated in color in this book.
In addition, every page of text, including the wittily-designed chapter openers, contains a riot of colorful detail from the cards. The book also contains an eye-opening, comprehensive glossary of the suggestive and coded language they use. Some people find the cards offensive, others amusing; but for the girls and their customers they are a commercial necessity.
For anyone interested in graphic design the cards form a microcosm of evolving style, taste and technique in design. While illegal, tart cards are now a recognized art form and are collected by institutions and individuals worldwide. Love them or loath them, tart cards are an intriguing slice of English social history.
More than 400 illustrations in color.