This started out as a couple of old favourites but I thought I’d pull them together into one post as they are all related.
I suppose that the cover is the portal into a book; for many it’s the first point of contact and sets the tone for what lies within, or what the publishing house thinks you might like to find within. There have been some iconic jacket designs and designers over the years from Penguin’s association with Romek Marber and Jan Tschihold creating brand image which endures to this day to the book jackets of Paul Rand, graphic designer and one of the originators of Swiss style design. Whilst obviously dated there is a real sense of balance and proportion not only in the overall design but in the colour palletes being used.Not everything from the past however carries the same beauty and balance. Kitsch , shocking and weird all of these designs were passed as being suitable and possibly even good by editors and are probably just as iconic in their own sweet way. I really like some of them but don’t think they’d be much used today. Unless you were aiming for a kitsch, shocking or weird parody cover that is.
Here is a bunch of stylish modern jackets, I really like the Small Crimes cover in this collection. Innovation in an art form which you might think has been fully explored.
Back with Penguin again here they’re offering a blank slate for those of an artistic bent to fill.
And finally Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, whose cover has changed over the years and throughout its international versions. Within the book though is the eponymous title and the cover of that, the first e-book reads, DON’T PANIC. Good advice to a publishing industry which may well be moving away from print based media into electronic delivery and with that change will lose the book jacket as we know it. When content is King what need for fancy dressing?