Thursday 11 September 2008

Romek Marber Round-Up Part 4

Here's the final part of the Romek Marber fiesta. Having looked at pretty much all of his crime covers, what else did he do? Well, for a start, these Angus Wilson novels:

Then there are these Pelican books on Shakespeare:

Some books on literacy and language:

And a few strays:

As far as I can determine, Romek Marber is still alive and well, though quite possibly retired. He gave a speech in 2005 about design and his own experiences to an audience at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. As part of the same event, designer David Pelham gave a speech which is available online here, which is also very interesting for those who like to know about the making of books.

Now, if you haven't already, it's time to go and look at that flickr set of his other Pelican covers.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for introducing me to Marber: I hadn't known his name or his work. There is something wonderful about limited means that can make for such memorable work: one color, b&w ink drawing or photo, no production frills; I don't think it even occurs to a lot of small publishers how simplicity can be so effective (especially when building up a series' visual brand). I think Dalkey Archive, for instance, has been doing a good job on their design over the years, but I've always been a bit nostalgic for their early days of all B&W covers (which I imagine must had been for reasons of financial constraint, before they got their outside funding): my eye would always pluck out their publications so easily out of a bookshelf. Now they blend in a bit for me. Looking at all those Marber crime covers, though: I've really been liking the look of Gallimard's Folio Policier series (sort of a reprint of their serie noir series, I guess). Different designing bag, but what think you of those? (

JRSM said...

As with the Serie Noir, I didn't know of the Folio Policier series--more wonderful covers to write about. Thanks for the tip!

You're right, too: Marber must be the master of making limited means a virtue rather than a restriction. All the colour and Photoshoppery of the modern world would only have detracted from most of his work.

I know what you mean about Dalkey, although their newest covers, all by one chap, Nicholas Motte (not sure if you've got to the posts about them yet: are the bee's knees.