Tuesday 10 December 2013

The Horror! The Horror! (2)

Continuing the seasonally inappropriate horror covers theme, take a look at these bloodsuckers. After their 20th-anniversary special editions last year, BFI have chosen another bunch of their Film Classics books to prettify: books on some of the great Gothic/horror movies. The results are gorgeous, and often unexpected--there's not a splash of blood in sight.

(Note: there are two Nosferatus here: both the 1922 and 1979 versions have books dedicated to them.)

Design by Mark Swan

Design by Matt Brand (this is the 1979 Herzog version)

Design by Matthew Young

Design by Midge Naylor

Design by Santiago Caruso

Design by Ben Goodman

Design by Graham Humphreys (and for one of my favourite films)

Design by Julia Soboleva (this is the 1922 original Nosferatu)
More on the series, with comments from the designers, here.

The Horror! The Horror! (1)

What's that? You don't want to read my long, involved, boring story of why there have been no posts for ages? Well, fine, be like that. Have some covers instead.

These are the six Penguin Horror books released a couple of months ago, a series "curated" by Guillermo del Toro (whose introduction is fortunately far better written than the vampire books he 'wrote'). The covers are the work of Penguin design supremo Paul Buckley. I wasn't sure sabout them when I'd only seen thumbnails online, but in the flesh they're luridly wonderful, using a range of expensive cover treatments (neon ink, silver ink, SuperMatt varnish--the one that feels like rubbery skin--and spots of viscera-like gloss varnish) to make them tactile and unsettling.

Click all images for embiggening...

Each cover makes use of a different fluorescent ink

Most series would reuse the same bit of distressed/damaged art for the back covers, so full marks for giving each book its own piece of nastiness

All the page edges are black as well, to add to the atmosphere

Here the books are shown with a tiny graveyard, for no useful purpose whatsoever

Del Toro's introduction (the same in each book) seems to suggest that at one point Henry James's The Turn of the Screw was meant to be a part of this series. It would be interesting to see how Buckley combined the over-the-top nature of the series design with that book's more restrained horrors.