Wednesday 10 September 2008

Romek Marber Round-Up Part 1

After much comment about the deservedly famous Romek Marber's covers in the past, it's time to spend a few posts looking at the man's work in detail. All of the covers in these posts can be clicked on for much bigger versions.

Polish-born in 1925, Marber moved to the UK where he was doing covers for 'Economist' magazine. Penguin's design head, Germano Facetti, spotted these covers and commissioned Marber to do the following cover for Simeon Potter's Our Language.

From here, Marber went on to design the famous 'Marber grid' on which, at first, all of Penguin's crime novels were based, and then progressively a great number of the publishers' other books.

This is the Marber grid, taken from Penguin By Design (discussed earlier here).

And here's the Marber grid used as a book cover for a publication by the Penguin Collectors' Society.

An interesting article/interview about the process is available online here.

So, on with the covers. In this post we'll start of with his many crime covers. Here three by Margery Allingham:

Five by Ellery Queen:

Two by Dashiell Hammett:

Four by Dorothy L. Sayers (using the common element of a small white stick-figure):

And one from Pamela Branch (as featured in an earlier post):


To see many more Marber cover designs, stick around for the next couple of posts. For some covers I don't have scans of, mostly from Penguin's non-fiction Pelican imprint, have a look at the this flickr set which contains big images of the following gems (click for bigger).

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