Thursday, 14 August 2008

Barnaby Hall follow-up

After the two recent posts looking at book covers by Barnaby Hall, in one of which I had the temerity to rejig some of the book designs, the man himself stopped by to explain some of the background.

Says Mr Hall, "The 'Graduate' [cover] has been used SO many times that it's a joke--however, it was originally shot (very quickly I might add) for a rather crappy VIDEO cover.

"It is interesting to see how much out dated design affects judgement of pictures which although admittedly "from the early 90s" (sorry about that!) still retain a little merit - at least the books were read and an attempt was made to shoot something that had a little thought and some relevance to the book. Hey ho. I'm currently making a series of prints of some of the covers - WITHOUT the design."

The exhibition is online here, and as well as including Mr Hall's own thoughts on design and his background, it also features his photographs in situ as covers, but also in their original forms. It's a very interesting insight into just how books are designed.

It's also rather funky that he managed to get himself onto a book cover. This... from this, an old passport photo of Mr Hall's.

UPDATE: For a hilarious glimpse behind the scenes at attempt to get a publisher to use an interesting rather than a boring and obvious photo, you have to go to this post and read Barnaby Hall's first comment.


barnaby hall said...

I've never been involved in a blog before- fun!
All those old Penguin covers. Yummy. The green, the orange. The Midwich Cuckoos - terrifying.
My late uncle Germano was deeply involved in the Penguin UK changeover - actually putting pictures on the covers -in the 60's. As kids we were constantly swamped with Penguin Books and very proud to have a close relative who was very " not English", spoke with a heavy Italian accent, loved women and delighted in profanity. Having been a teenage prisoner in a concentration camp during much of WW2, he couldn't resist doing very loud (and embarrassing) imitations of Adolf Hitler during quiet holiday lunches in Italy.
Thanks for referring people to the online expo.

JRSM said...

My pleasure--I love those covers. I've updated this post to link to your Ian McEwen story.

hotho said...

I worked with Barnaby when I was at Photonica a decade or so back- quite a wonderful character. I love the depth of his images and best was the stories told while pouring over his photo submissions. He broke the boundaries for me, coming from an uptight photo world, of pristine, black portfolios.

JRSM said...

Yes, I've heard quite a few very entertaining stories from him via email now: I've got his email if you wanted to get in touch--let me know with a comment here.