Jonathan Gibbs reviews books for The Independent and elsewhere. His novel Randall, about the contemporary art world and the fate of the YBAs, is published by Galley Beggar Press in June 2014.
He blogs on this aspect of his writing at tinycamels.wordpress.com and tweets at @Tiny_Camels
The first time I saw these covers, probably independently of each other, I wasn’t sure about them, but the more I look at them – and the more I look at them together – the more I like them.
They are covers of chapbooks mostly, and feature the illustrations of Christiana Spens who is director and [...]
There was no contest as to my favourite book cover of 2012 – Peter Mendelsund’s trompe l’oeil marvel for Ben Marcus’s The Flame Alphabet. What better way to tempt people in to this strange, unclassifiable novel about a virus carried by the spoken language of children than these hyper-real paper cut flames, both carrying and [...]
How to market ‘theory’ – that strange monstrous genre of quasi-philosophical, quasi-social-scientific, quasi-lit-critical writing that crawled from the continent in the second half of the last century? Verso know how to do it. Their list ‘Radical Thinkers’ is chock full of heavyweight names, from Adorno to Foucault to Žižek to… well, you’d have to say there [...]
Last night I turned up – all too briefly, alas – to see and vote at the inaugural Academy of British Cover Design awards, in a downstairs bar on still-trendy Hoxton Square. There were over 100 people there when I had to leave, but the voting was only just getting going, with the shortlisted covers, [...]
I’m taking part in a panel about book design at the LSE’s Literary Festival tomorrow, in which I’ll be talking a little about the alternatives to what I’m calling the ‘Chip Kidd’ approach to cover design, where each book is given an eye-catching design that is brilliant, individual and appropriate to its content. (I wrote [...]
In search of something else entirely I was flicking through Alan Powers’s book Front Cover: Great Book Jacket and Cover Design and spotted something that made me stop. It was a cover by Alvin Lustig – for Kafka’s Amerika, in its 1948 New Directions American edition – that reminded me (more than reminded me!) of [...]
I picked up a copy of Cynan Jones’s The Dig from a display in The Book Hive, a favourite independent bookshop in Norwich, just before taking a train, and in fact at 158 pages (and more on that below) it is very well suited to a journey of a couple of hours.
Rather taken with this cover for Viking’s The Poetry of Sex, I’ve decided to build an A-Z of book covers with single letter-led designs. Some are easy. Some harder. Some are great. Some less so. Can you help me fill the gaps?