Monday, 24 May 2010

Behind the Scenes of Vintage Loves Film

Matthew Broughton, a senior designer who has been with Random House UK since 2001, was kind enough to get in touch about the Vintage Loves Film series, spotlighted here and here. For all images, click for nice, big versions.

"The ‘Vintage Loves Film’ series is a one-off Summer Promotion to highlight ten Vintage bestsellers whose films also became box-office successes. For the consumer who may have seen the film but not read the book, we would be offering a fresh way of viewing these literary classics. This presented the design team with a difficult problem – how to tie the concept of film and book together. We particularly wanted to avoid a film tie-in approach, or work with film stills – the visual conceit would lie in how we described the transition of typed word to spoken word.

 "It occurred that quotes would be the way forward for a number of reasons:

"1 – Most film fanatics can quote lines from their favourite films. For instance, we may not have seen, or know the story to the film Casablanca, but we remember the lines – ‘Here's looking at you, kid,’ ‘Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine’ , and even the misquote – ‘Play it again, Sam...’

"2 – We use quotes from critics to help sell books, so why not use a quote from the book to sell itself?

 "We made a point of selecting quotes that were relevant to both film and book whilst making sure we remained faithful to the wording of the novel. The author name and title were relegated to the spine so that the quotes would be read as the description of the book, and not as typographic window dressing. Our insistence to work only with quotes and forego the usual trade conventions was initially met with some concerns, but the positive reactions from authors and estates alike confirmed that it was a bold, but correct approach.

"Each designer took on two titles apiece, with the idea of choosing a type solution that would reflect the period or feel of the film (see below) and to complete the film connection we numbered the series with a motif inspired by the ten-to-one celluloid countdown on old black and white movies.

"The simple cover concept needed to be complemented by the production values, so we printed in two colour (black and PMS485) on a pearlescent stock (Curious Metallic Virtual Pearl) with the bookblock edges dipped in black."

Thank you, Mr Broughton!


Craig D. said...

I suppose I can see where they're coming from, but these covers still strike me as almost comically bland. Lining them all up in a single picture just drives the point home.

Tulkinghorn said...

The enticement for "Death in Venice" consists of a sentence that contains the phrases "love at first sight" and "love everlasting" -- The intention escapes my understanding even as I reach toward it.

The opportunities to read cliche-ridden romance novels are many. And you usually get a picture of a pretty brunette in the arms of some hunk

John Self said...

I like these covers and think they are a bold step for Vintage toward Penguin territory. I'd love to think the covers were debossed a la Great Ideas, but I suspect not. An interesting comparison, too, with the David Pearson covers for Cormac McCarthy, where the original intention was to use quotes from the book below the titles, but in the end they (in my view) weakened and went for quotes from reviews instead.

Anonymous said...

Two thumbs up!

Mae said...

Wow, I loved how they've numbered the back. Brilliant. And he does have a great point - why not use quotes from the book themselves to see?