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Front Cover: Great Book Jacket and Cover Design [Hardcover]

Alan Powers
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

13 Sep 2001
Front Cover: Great Book Jacket and Cover Design is a comprehensive survey of the very best of cover and jacket design from the 20th century. The most important and innovative designs are explored, including the distinctive yellow dust-jackets of the Gollancz novels of the 1930s, the colour-coded series design of Penguin paperbacks in the 1960s and the award-winning paperback designs by Canongate in the 1990s. Chapters are devoted to separate themes - the development of the modern book jacket in the 1920s and 1930s, the diverse styles that evolved in the post-war era, the paperback explosion of the 1960s and 1970s, and the recent revival in jacket design in the hands of design companies such as Pentagram. Revealing double-page features appear in each chapter on such tropics as the Cold War novel, classic novels of the period, and individual authors such as Len Deighton and Ian Fleming. With 300 jackets in full-colour, including rare first editions, innovative designs by leading designers such as E.McKnight Kauffer and Paul Rand, and newly discovered gems, together with an insightful text by leading design expert Alan Powers, this fascinating book will delight anyone with a passion for books.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley (13 Sep 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840004215
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840004212
  • Product Dimensions: 28.9 x 23.9 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 511,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Dr Alan Powers writes and lectures on architecture and applied art. He is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Greenwich School of Architecture and Landscape, and is actively involved in the Twentieth Century Society. He is the author of Living with Books and Living with Pictures, and contributed to the best-selling Elements of Design (Mitchell Beazley 1991). Dr Powers frequently contributes to magazines including, Country Life, Crafts and The Spectator. In 1999 he was guest-curator of the exhibition on British Modernism of the 1930s at the Design Museum, London. He lives in London.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great reference 15 Nov 2001
This is a great book for the book designer & book lover alike. As an illustrator/designer I would have preferred more up-to-date design and less archive stuff but there is a good mix for a more general reader. Well worth the money
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literary billboards. 4 May 2002
By Robin Benson - Published on
A comprehensive look at book jacket design from the twenties to the nineties. The book only covers fiction and is divided into themed spreads with between five and nine covers on each. Author Powers writes detailed captions to each cover as well as providing short essays on each decade and genre. Nearly three hundred covers are shown in this well designed and printed book, none of them are angled or overlap other covers.

As the title covers the last eighty years there is not much opportunity to show lots of great covers in the same style put out by some English publishers, only two examples are shown of the unique designs created by Brian Cook for Batsford in the thirties and although there are several Penguin paperbacks included you can plenty more in 'Penguin by Design' (ISBN 0713998393) by Phil Baines. An excellent visual coverage of the company that published hundreds of titles with knockout covers.

Most of the jackets were designed in the UK but there is a good showing of well designed US covers. There are some pulp fiction and thriller covers apart from the literary stuff. A very similar book with 270 American covers is `Jackets Required' by Steven Heller and Seymour Chwast, covering jacket design from 1920 thru 1950 and if you have both these books it will make an excellent visual record of some of the best twentieth century fiction.

Have a look at my Listmania about book jackets for more visual titles.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for your collection, not a how-to book. 1 Sep 2004
By Virginia - Published on
I ordered this book looking for some direction & inspiration while designing a book cover. It's a beautiful book, covering decades of work, with small blurbs on each book. These blurbs help clarify the subject the artist was trying to convey, which is sometimes fun to figure out.
HOWEVER, if you're looking for a how-to book, this is not one. Maybe I should have read the other review a little better. But if you're looking for some history and inspiration, this is a great book. I'm glad I bought it, even though it's not what I was looking for.
3.0 out of 5 stars Mistitled 26 Aug 2013
By BaronVonEngelhafen - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I don't think "Great Book Jacket and Cover Design" is necessarily what this book is about. First it does not define at any point what makes a great book cover or design but is merely a journey of some examples of book covers. As for that, I think this book could have been much more impacting without the commentary at all. It could have been more extensive and served it's purpose better by just presenting page after page of book covers from the early years to today. The most interesting aspect of this book was the covers themselves.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! 17 Nov 2009
By Mary E. Johnson - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What a great gift! My sister-in-law is a journalist with a big heart. I ordered this as a Christmas present for her. I think it will please her tremendously.
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