Harlots, Whores & Hackabouts

Thames & Hudson

Harlots, Whores & Hackabouts covers the history of sex for sale: from medieval London back streets to Storyville brothels, and from Chinese flower boats to royal bed chambers, this authoritative and global history of sex work is enhanced by evocative paintings and archival photographs.

The design is a contemporary interpretation of boudoir, embodying the tension between modern flamboyant bold serifs and elegant calligraphic fonts. Inspired by the guidebooks of the red-light districts, and reflecting how the history of the sex trade is revealed through the eyes of the sex worker, a tactile and analogue typewriter font is used for body text. The keyhole graphics are a nod to voyeurism, and the door frame illustrations from different historical periods and locations represent the control, stigma, and stereotype in which the lived experience of people selling sex is largely obscured.