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Book designs by Ellen Raskin

Ellen Raskin (1928-1984) is best known as a writer, author of The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I mean Noel) and the Newbery Award-winning The Westing Game. But she always considered herself an artist first. Raskin designed over 1,000 book covers, including the iconic original cover of A Wrinkle In Time, the edition of Dubliners you probably read in college, and the New Directions edition of a Child's Christmas in Wales (Raskin did the woodcuts on the inside, too; further appreciation here.) More Raskin covers are collected in this flickr set from Bennington College. [more inside]
posted by escabeche on Jul 18, 2013 - 29 comments

The more I look the more I see things that make me want to look away BUT I CAN’T.

Lousy Book Covers
posted by dobbs on Jan 5, 2013 - 86 comments

Increasing the emotional energy of inanimate objects

Brain Pickings presents the Best Design Books of 2012. Because you weren't really going to get anything done today anyway, right? [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee on Dec 2, 2012 - 14 comments

Judging a book by the cover

Scent of a kitten: the 20 irrefutable theories of book cover design
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Aug 17, 2012 - 33 comments

Turn all book covers into wallpapers

Turn all book covers into wallpapers [via mefi projects] Lovely book cover images from classic novels, remixed with "the most defining quote" from each book.
posted by exceptinsects on Jul 17, 2012 - 15 comments

The frantic career of the eyes

Picturing Books: What do we see when we read? (Other than words on a page.) What do we picture in our minds? A consideration by Knopf's senior designer Peter Mendulsund. [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian on Jun 27, 2012 - 22 comments

Smart Authors and Designers Discuss Their Covers

Talking Covers: authors and designers talk about the ideas behind their book covers. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Jun 13, 2012 - 9 comments

Kitsch, chic and swank

Ultra Swank - Retro Living and Design from the 50s, 60s and 70s.
posted by unliteral on Dec 8, 2011 - 8 comments

What does J.G. Ballard look like? - by Rick Poynor

An examination of the cover design for the published works of J.G. Ballard, spanning five decades. [more inside]
posted by dvorak_beats_qwerty on Feb 4, 2011 - 10 comments

Simply Incredible

Stephen Biesty is an award-winning British illustrator famous for his bestselling "Incredible" series of engineering art books: Incredible Cross-Sections, Incredible Explosions, Incredible Body, and many more. A master draftsman, Biesty does not use computers or even rulers in composing his intricate and imaginative drawings, relying on nothing more than pen and ink, watercolor, and a steady hand. Over the years, he's adapted his work to many other mediums, including pop-up books, educational games (video), interactive history sites, and animation. You can view much of his work in the zoomable galleries on his professional page, or click inside for a full listing of direct links to high-resolution, desktop-quality copies from his and other sites, including several with written commentary from collaborator Richard Platt [site, .mp3 chat]. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 4, 2011 - 24 comments

The Library Artist

"Book lovers, you can exhale. The printed, bound book has been given a stay of execution by an unlikely source: the design community."
posted by Scoop on Jan 6, 2011 - 60 comments

Dig Senalonga

Twenty-four vintage book covers from Portugal
posted by kenko on Oct 16, 2010 - 11 comments

Creative Action for Collective Good

Every day, our world gets a little bit smaller and a lot more complex. So much so that even minor decisions can have major consequences. Not just for trees or frogs or polar bears, but for human lives, and livelihoods. At its core, sustainability is about people. The Living Principles for Design aim to guide purposeful action. It is a place to co-create, share and showcase best practices, tools, stories and ideas for enabling sustainable action across all design disciplines. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Sep 20, 2010 - 9 comments

Book Design

In the United States, “we tend to want to use every inch, to fill; up with color, and to get it to do as much as it can do. Everything here is bigger, more commercial, more targeted to sell and to advertise. In Europe, the covers are geared to look more like the way they dress: very simple. Their use of negative space goes along with the theory of less is more." [more inside]
posted by stratastar on Mar 4, 2010 - 74 comments

Judging Lolita by Her Cover

As Dieter Zimmer’s online exhibit "Covering Lolita" shows, it started with a plain green jacket. [Note: Some links include images which may be NSFW.] [more inside]
posted by bunnycup on Feb 19, 2010 - 40 comments

The most gorgeous Jules Verne books you can't buy

Gorgeous new covers for Around the World in 80 Days, Journey to the Center of the Earth, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and From the Earth to the Moon by design student Jim Tierney.
posted by Omon Ra on Feb 18, 2010 - 29 comments

It's real! You can touch it!

Remember Paper is a blog with photos of interesting magazines, books, and other paper-based ephemera. NSFW.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy on Nov 29, 2009 - 10 comments

Vintage Graphics Resource

Grain Edit is focused on classic design work from the 1950s-1970s and contemporary designers that draw inspiration from that time period. Site content includes interviews, articles, designers’ libraries, as well as examples of rare design annuals, type specimens, ephemera, posters and vintage kids books from their bookshelves.
posted by netbros on Oct 18, 2009 - 5 comments

Online Gallery and Visual Archive

Blanka is a collection of original, vintage, and limited edition posters and prints.
posted by netbros on May 16, 2009 - 9 comments

Classic Covers of Penguin Science Fiction Books

The Art of Penguin Science Fiction is a historical guide to the design of book jackets in the Penguin SF line by James Pardey. But before reading the essay I recommend looking at some of the wonderful cover designs, for example We, Deathworld, Rork!, The Drowned World, Star Maker, The Evolution Man, Fifth Planet and Alternating Currents. They certainly don't make SF book jackets like they used to. All hundred plus covers can also be browsed alphabetically by author. [via The Guardian Books Blog]
posted by Kattullus on May 7, 2009 - 25 comments

The Book Cover Archive

The Book Cover Archive presents "an archive of book cover designs and designers for the purpose of appreciation and categorization". via
posted by Rumple on Jan 8, 2009 - 9 comments

(laws of human stupidity)

Why systems fail - Review of the book: Systemantics; how systems work... and especially how they fail by John Gall. New York, Pocket Books, 1978. {via} [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 16, 2008 - 21 comments

Dust Jackets from American and European Books, 1926-1947

Over 2500 dust jackets of American and European books from the years 1926 through 1947. Here are some that caught my eye: Burned Evidence, If You Know What I Mean, Ikaria, Murder for the Millions, Dream of the Red Chamber and A Farewell to Arms. Finally, I can't help but link to a German book about Russian book jackets, the subject of an old post by Alvy Ampersand.
posted by Kattullus on Sep 10, 2008 - 13 comments

ToC

Some readers will appreciate their typographic form, while others will see further strategies at work — informational, strategic, philosophical, literary. There are odd, even anachronistic cultural references, gestures that date these books in a manner oddly soothing.
The Next Page: Thirty Tables of Contents [more inside]
posted by carsonb on May 16, 2008 - 16 comments

On this day of resurrection...

Speaking of speeches, David Eggers delivers one at TED on grassroots community tutoring for kids who need help with their English homework: "There's something about the kids finishing their homework in a given day, working one on one, getting all this attention. They finish their homework, they go home -- they're finished. They don't stall. They don't do their homework in front of the TV. They're allowed to go home 5:30, enjoy their family, enjoy other hobbies, get outside, play and that makes a happy family. A bunch of happy families in a neighborhood is a happy community. A bunch of happy communities tied together is a happy city and a happy world, right? So, the key to it all is homework." Love him or hate him (mefi consensus) it's a great example of nervous energy microphilanthropy, social entrepreneurship and, if I may make the connection, machines of loving grace. [previously]
posted by kliuless on Mar 23, 2008 - 26 comments

Beat Generation Cover Scans

Book nerds everywhere will enjoy these scans of cover art from the works of Beat Generation authors William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, and John Clellon Holmes. [more inside]
posted by dhammond on Mar 4, 2008 - 12 comments

Elegant Pelicans

The Pelican Project - six decades of Pelican book covers.
posted by dobbs on Jan 31, 2008 - 12 comments

Judge a book by its cover.

Site for Henry Sene Yee, book designer. Site includes finished pieces and rejected proofs.
posted by dobbs on Dec 24, 2007 - 9 comments

Trigger Happier

Trigger Happier "Trigger Happy is a book about the aesthetics of videogames — what they share with cinema, the history of painting, or literature; and what makes them different, in terms of form, psychology and semiotics. It’s offered under a CC license, for a limited time only. I’m not sure how limited that time will be, so grab it while it’s hot." [drm-free pdf]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Nov 22, 2007 - 14 comments

Covering Photography: Photographers and Book Design

Covering Photography "A web-based archive and resource for the study of the relationship between the history of photography and book cover design," with lots of ways to discover photographers like Arthur Tress.
posted by mediareport on Oct 4, 2007 - 6 comments

shelf life

A few cool shelves: a skull shelf and another, made of books by Jim Rosenau, invisible shelf, secret stash shelf, accordion shelf by Thut Möbel, maze shelf and broken shelves.
posted by nickyskye on Jun 29, 2007 - 27 comments

Gems of 19th and early 20th century penmanship

Gems of Penmanship, Penman's Leisure Hour, Ninety-five Lessons in Ornamental Penmanship, The Champion Method of Practical Business Writing and other Rare Books on Calligraphy and Penmanship from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Lots of neat tidbits. [via mlarson.org]
posted by mediareport on Feb 24, 2007 - 12 comments

Penguin Book Cover Design

Penguin Books is an all too brief Flickr Photoset of Penguin Book cover designs from decades past. For those interested, this book is highly recommended.
posted by jonson on Oct 24, 2006 - 9 comments

Gallery of book covers

"Covers is dedicated to the appreciation of book cover design."
posted by dobbs on May 24, 2006 - 16 comments

Hand bookbindings at Princeton

Hand bookbindings.
web design by Mihai Parparita, via Evan Martin's LJ
posted by Slithy_Tove on Mar 10, 2005 - 9 comments

Good type feels good

Thinking with Type The online companion to the book of the same name offers a nice little online primer on the finer points of typography, including my favourite new online game: Dumb Quotes. Remember kids: only you can prevent poor kerning.
posted by Robot Johnny on Jan 31, 2005 - 15 comments

Good-lookin' books.

Czech book covers of the 1920s and '30s. Czechoslovakia was an amazingly creative place between the wars, and this Cooper-Hewitt exhibit showcases some of the book covers it produced. Here's an overview and descrption of styles; you can explore them here. I particularly like Sborník Literární skupiny, Jaroslavu Královi k padesátinám, Nejmenší dum, and the work of Karel Teige. (Via wood s lot.)
posted by languagehat on Dec 18, 2004 - 9 comments

Want the clock

Too many books? Not enough furniture? Problem solved.
posted by kenko on Nov 27, 2004 - 48 comments

Visual Relationships at Amazon.com

Visual Relationships at Amazon.com - Here's an interesting visual implementation of the Amazon API. It's almost like flipping through books on the shelf. What's next? A 3D bookstore rendered on the Quake engine?
posted by Argyle on Mar 3, 2003 - 2 comments

A Gallery of Bookplates.

A Gallery of Bookplates. I always think it's a wonderful surprise when I'm antique bookshopping and I happen across some beautiful ex-libris. Many more links found via Joy Olivia on the Graphic Design blog Speak Up.
posted by Stan Chin on Nov 6, 2002 - 18 comments

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