don’t judge

Two years ago this very week my Dad and I were in Maui. I was picking out a couple postcards when I saw one with an enchanting girl and thought, I know her, she’s on the cover of Dreaming in Cuban. I grabbed two, one for myself and one for a fellow booklover. Book cover design is the other side of my book world. They turn these beautiful stories that I love into small objects of art to be collected and treasured. And judging a book by it’s cover becomes a delightful game of whodunnit. Favorite designers, favorite publishers, coveted series, these are all part and parcel of book collecting. A compilation done by one of my most beloved publishers, Penguin by Design A Cover Story 1935-2005 by Phil Baines, gives the history of Penguin’s book cover design. Although some of the writing might be a little dry for those not completely enamored with book design the endless pages of covers are truly fabulous, especially the 1960’s series. In the first chapter Baines gives some history of Penguin’s start-up and this particular time during WWII,

A desire to give the public access to art at a time when the principal London galleries had evacuated their collections to safer places resulted in the Modern Painters series. The first four titles, Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, Duncan Grant and Paul Nash, appeared in April 1944. Somehow, good paper was obtained, paintings were tracked down for photography, and high standards of colour reproduction were achieved under incredibly difficult circumstances.”

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