Reading list

Vintage designers pick their favourite book covers of 2017

Carefully chosen by Vintage’s design team, these books are as brilliant on the inside as they are on the outside – perfect gifts for the design buffs in your life

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The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood

This special edition of Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel needed an iconic new look and illustrator Noma Bar was the perfect choice. I took great care over the details regarding the paper stock, cover boards, debossing, sprayed edges and endpapers, culminating in this beautiful new edition.

Chosen by Suzanne Dean

How Saints Die

Carmen Marcus

I really enjoyed the whole process of this cover design. The illustrator Owen Gent was a pleasure to work with as he completely understood what we were aiming for. As a result his illustration totally captures the book and brings the story of ten year old Ellie, who grows up with her fisherman father while her mother’s breakdown is discussed only in whispers, to life.

Chosen by Rosie Palmer

 

 

Casino Royale

Ian Fleming

One of my highlights of this year has been working with Levente Szabo on the Vintage Classics James Bond hardback series (featuring Live and Let Die and Goldfinger alongside Casino Royale). We wanted a strong, character-led design that hinted at the action of the novels and Levente’s illustrations gave us this and more, combining elements from the plots into striking silhouettes.  

Chosen by Kris Potter

 

Dunbar

Edward St Aubyn

I love Peter Strain’s mark-making: it has a raw and free quality to it that felt like the perfect choice for Edward St Aubyn’s retelling of King Lear for the Hogarth Shakespeare series. I like how the wild, blizzardous sky contrasts with the clean, white snow beneath.

Chosen by Julia Connolly

 

Seeing

Jose Saramago

This year I enjoyed creating bold typographic, Vintage Classics reissues for José Saramago. The first three (Seeing, Blindness and The Double) were published in March and the next batch in November, with more to come in 2018. The writing has a surreal, dystopian feel, and the books often have a magic realism element to them, which can be difficult to illustrate in a conventional way. Hand printing ‘J’ and ‘S’ old wood type blocks using strong, colourful inks, I created these abstract designs which are inspired by the content of each book.

Chosen by Stephen Parker

 

Little Lord Fauntleroy

Frances Hodgson Burnett

This illustration by Adrian Valencia was the first I commissioned at Vintage. I think it’s charming and I love the colours. It evokes childhood memories of bluebell fields for me, and it’s a cover which cheers me up to look at – just like the story of Ceddie, who thinks he is a regular little boy living in New York with his mother, until he finds out he is the child of a great English family: Little Lord Fauntleroy.

Chosen by Sophie Harris

 

Walden

Henry David Thoreau

I really like Cruschiform’s choice of hues and use of vector illustration in her design technique for the new classic edition of Walden, which marked Thoreau’s 200th anniversary this year. It’s the perfect  visual representation of Henry David Thoreau’s philosophy on simple, natural living.

Chosen by Ros Otoo

 

Spoils

Brian Van Reet

I greatly admire the work of artist Mat Collishaw. This shocking and arresting photograph from his series Burning Butterflies seemed just right for the novel Spoils, a vivid account of life and death, valour and horror in war, told from the perspective of two young American soldiers and a war-weary jihadist.

Chosen by Lily Richards

 

The Correspondence

J. D. Daniels

Mucking in with the spirit of J. D. Daniel’s feverish prose, I ditched the computer – typefaces, grids et al – and made the, possibly foolish, decision to hand-letter the entire jacket. The result? A reactive, discordant, typographic marathon to portray a book that considers how far books and learning and psychoanalysis can get us, and how much we’re stuck in the mud. A real pleasure to work on.

Chosen by Matt Broughton

 

Men Without Women

Haruki Murakami

One of several collaborations with Marimekko designer Aino-Maija Metsola, this simple cover for Murakami’s short story collection draws your eye like the moon looming large in the sky. I love the way it remains loyal to Murakami’s cover look while hinting at the ethereal.

Chosen by Amy Lines

 

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