Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Nice Pair

Of the repackaging of classics there is no end. The latest outburst is Vintage Classics and its second line-wide overhaul in a couple of years. This time they're obviously aiming to make a dent in Penguin's market dominance by putting out a whole lot of older, public-domain classics like work by Dickens, Melville, James, Austen and the like.

One nice promotional touch is the selling of some of these older classics with well-chosen limited-edition contemporary "classics" from Vintage's line. The pairings are mostly pretty good, and the matching covers are rather nice.

The best may be the combination of Oliver Twist with Trainspotting (both stories of the urban criminal underclass), the covers featuring animals which play minor but memorable parts in the stories (Sykes' dog and the cat which kills Tommy with toxoplasmosis).

I also like the ligature in the text on the Dickens cover.

Some of the other pairings are shown here: 'Crime' (Dostoevsky and Highsmith), 'Lust' (Fielding and Amis) and 'Sin' (Dante and Roth). I think they're all quite effective.


August said...

The typeface for the Oliver Twist cover, the one with the cool ligature, is Monotype's Fournier, I believe. The whole of George Elliott Clarke's excellent libretto Beatrice Chancey (based on Shelley's The Cenci, and transplanted to 19th Century Nova Scotia, it works beautifully on the page), published by Polestar, was set in it, and it's probably the most gorgeous type I've ever seen.

JRSM said...

Thank you for that--I'm going to have to buy that typeface. It's beautiful!

August said...

Glad to help. I found your blog via Brian Busby's blog, The Dusty Bookcase, which I found in turn from the blog over at Canadian Notes and Queries, an excellent journal I subscribe to.

I've spent the last week and a half reading your archives at work (I have that kind of job), and I'm enjoying it a great deal. I came to the end today, though, and will now have to wait patiently for updates like everybody else. :)

JRSM said...

And thank you again! The Dusty Bookcase is fascinating, I agree--I have a fascination for Canadian literature, and the ways it is mirrored by (and differs from) Australian literature. Big, mostly human-free countries, uneasy historical relationship with the UK, uneasy modern relationship with the US, all that jazz...