Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Zandra Rhodes's 1970s Penguins

A couple of weeks ago I posted the covers by Sir Peter Blake for the 1950s entries in the upcoming Penguin Decades series. Now its time to jump two decades on, to the covers that punk-influenced (and influencing) textile designer Zandra Rhodes has created for the 1970s books.


 
 
 

I particularly like the Susan Hill cover, while the Daphne du Maurier doesn't seem unsettling enough. I'm not sure what embossing/debossing/varnishing treatments will be used on these (if any), as that could add greatly to the tactile, textile-aping effect. We'll see closer to the time. And again, there's one cover missing--William Trevor's young-psycho-on-the-prowl novel The Children of Dynmouth.

UPDATE: Here's the previously missing Trevor cover:



Two decades are still to come: the 1960s, with covers designed by the great Alan Aldridge, and the 1980s, with covers designed by John Squire (once of potential-squandering band The Stone Roses). I'm excited by the prospect of the former, and worried by the prospect of the latter (unless Squire has moved on from his Jackson-Pollock-aping-but-with-fruit-nailed-on paintings).

7 comments:

Christy Pinheiro, EA ABA said...

The Susan Hill cover is my favorite, too. The one with the lipsticks is really unusual, but I'm not sure if I like it. It's eye-catching.

JRSM said...

Ditto--it grabs the eye, but there's something a bit odd about it. But it's one of the Carter books I haven't read, so for all I know it may be perfect for the story.

jem said...

These are nice. I shouldn't admit this, but sometimes it's only a attractive new cover that encourages me to read an 'old' book. I agree that the texture / finish element could add a lot more to these.

JRSM said...

I'm exactly the same--and have also been known to buy a second copy of a book I already own because the new cover is much better.

John Self said...

I can't say how much I hate these covers. I was so shocked and appalled by them that I ran a straw poll o Twitter last week, which showed, thankfully, that most people expressing a view on them agreed with me.

Zandra Rhodes may be a wonderful fashion designer for all I know. But she cannot draw. There is a gaucheness and amateurishness to these covers which is inexcusable in such a cover-loving publisher as Penguin. What she has tried to do is combine intricate, almost geometric patterns with a freehand style, and has failed to do either justice.

Please tell me it's not just me. I don't even think it's a question of taste. These covers are just objectively bad. Aren't they?

JRSM said...

But I do (mostly) like them. And a lot of people reblogged/tumblr/twittered them too, for what that's worth (although possibly to point and laugh). I'd be interested to see what other nay-sayers said.

John Self said...

Searching for old posts on Twitter is a thankless task, but from what I can remember, the responses were about 75% against, 25% for. Anti comments were pretty predictable: ugly, horrible, terrible etc.