Sunday 6 April 2008

Roxanna Bikadoroff & Angela Carter

Roxanna Bikadoroff is a Canadian illustrator who has done a lot of work on book covers over the years: some of these are shown at her website. Among the highlights of her work are she did the covers for Penguin US's reissues of Angela Carter's work a few years ago (and then for Virago's reissues more recently). They have a wonderfully sinister, gruesomely sexy cartoonish quality, exactly right for Carter's sensuous, rich and fantastic prose--especially her various takes on old fairy stories, in all their bloody glory. Click for bigger versions, as always.

There's something reminiscent of Ronald Searle about her work. I also like that the typography is all done by her, by hand, rather than using some 'irregular' digital typeface.

Another nice touch are the little Penguin logos on the covers. Most corporations are tediously insistent on 'brand identity' and the like, never letting any little changes be made to their dull, set-in-concrete corporate look. On the Penguin Carters here, though, each has been rendered in a form appropriate to the book--a clown, a heart, an executioner, a mouse(?), a torn image and a marionette are shown here.

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