Monday, 10 September 2012

Alphabetical Order

I've long enjoyed Daily Drop Cap, a design blog by Jessica Hische, where she posts an initial letter she has designed pretty much each day (and has done so for nearly three years). The range of forms and styles she has created from the 26 basic letter shapes is quite amazing.

Penguin obviously think so too, as they've commissioned her to create letterforms for the covers for their new Penguin Drop Caps classics series: 26 deluxe paperback editions of classics books, chosen for the initial letters of the authors' surnames. For example, the first three books are by Austen, Bronte (Charlotte) and Cather: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre and My Antonia. Click for bigger versions of the first six books... (All cover designs by Jessica Hische and Paul Buckley).






As you can see, the spines will match, and the changing colours of the set will create a full spectrum by the end.

I'm in two minds about this set: on the one hand, they will undoubtedly be gorgeous, while on the other they are probably entirely unnecessary (this will be Penguin's 235,623th in-print edition of P&P, for example); but then, the classics are probably getting harder to shift in these days of free public domain ebooks, so making the paper versions as pretty as possible is probably the way to go.

As for Jessica Hische, she has an extensive set of beautiful type-centric book cover designs in her portfolio. Here are some of my favourites, starting with different desigsn for two of the classics above, these versions done for Barnes & Noble. Click an image for much larger versions.






An as-yet unpublished project by Hische herself

Above and below, a pair of dramatic, Jazz Age designs



I wasn't sure whether to risk Eggers again after some disappointing past experiences, but this cover design has pushed me into spending my money


Sadly, not yet a real cover: part of the Lolita Cover Project




5 comments:

Matthew Adams said...

These are all wonderful. Not much else to say really.

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Ian Shimkoviak said...

These are super. I own most of these covers. I did hear that B&N had a hard time selling the leather classics though. These are VERY well priced in my opinion, so it leads me to believe that it's their unique production value that makes them look "expensive" and most people are probably just turned off by that—they assume they cost a lot and could not be bothered paying a lot for a "classic" reissue. But they should, cause they look damn great on yer shelf dammit.

JRSM said...

That's a shame--especially when a lot of hardback classics still manage to look a bit cheap, that these suffer for looking TOO good. Argh!

Laura Ottina said...

These are really beautiful covers, I love her work!