Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Black Cockatoos and Crying Children

Australian publisher Allen & Unwin is celebrating its 20th birthday with four "classics" from its backlist (I use inverted commas as The Slap is too new and anything by Andrew McGahan is not good enough to qualify), done up in fancy screenprinted fabric boards, without any text on the covers. The four books in question are (click for much bigger versions):

Journey to the Stone Country by Alex Miller

White Earth by Andrew McGahan

Lilian's Story by Kate Grenville

The Slap by Christon Tsiolkas
 I really dig these--the textlessness, the limited colours and the bold graphics really work. I don't know who any of the artists are as yet, but am endeavouring to find out.



UPDATE: Annette of Allen & Unwin gave me the designer details--"It was our two very talented inhouse designers, Lisa White for 'Lilian's Story' and 'The Slap' and Emily O'Neill for 'Journey to the Stone Country' and 'The White Earth'. Lisa reworked the artwork on 'Lilian's Story' from the original cover art by Hans Selhofer. We're very proud of these 20th anniversary editions and very proud of our excellent designers."







6 comments:

C.B. James said...

These are beautiful. I wonder if reissues with covers like this may be one way for actual books to survive the e-book onslaught.

JRSM said...

You might be right--the way vinyl records are making something of a comeback for a limited audience, with really well-made discs and lovingly-produced sleeves, etc. Of course, I'd hate for physical books to become such a niche market, but if they do, I'll be one of the cranks still seeking them out.

Ian Shimkoviak said...

that Grenville illio of the girl is very nice. All very cool.

Annette said...

I'm happy to fill you in on who designed them. Have to declare myself first -- I'm a publisher at Allen & Unwin. It was our two very talented inhouse designers, Lisa White for 'Lilian's Story' and 'The Slap' and Emily O'Neill for 'Journey to the Stone Country' and 'The White Earth'. Lisa reworked the artwork on 'Lilian's Story' from the original cover art by Hans Selhofer. We're very proud of these 20th anniversary editions and very proud of our excellent designers. Glad you like them too.

JRSM said...

Annette, thank you very much: I'll add the information to the post now. They're beautiful books.

Hazel said...

I absolutely adore the cover to The Slap...maybe I should trade up my copy?