Elegant Pelicans
January 31, 2008 6:56 PM   Subscribe

The Pelican Project - six decades of Pelican book covers.
posted by dobbs (12 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Great. Bookmarked.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:05 PM on January 31, 2008

I inherited a few of these from my step-father, including my favourite Recorded Jazz: A Critical Guide
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 7:05 PM on January 31, 2008

Dobbs... nice link... I remember these.....
Another site that makes me wish I had NEVER thrown anything away, never donated books to the library, never sold my old cars and motor scooters, never given away comic books...

just darn glad I kept the stamp collection!
posted by HuronBob at 7:13 PM on January 31, 2008

My family of working class autodidacts had a shelf or two of these and I think the first grown-up books I read would have been hand-me-down Pelicans and Penguins. Probably explains why all my ideas are at least two generations behind the current state of research, but elegantly packaged.
posted by Abiezer at 7:14 PM on January 31, 2008 [4 favorites]

Hells yes, sez me.
posted by cgc373 at 7:18 PM on January 31, 2008

A feast of nostalgic visuals! Thanks for the post dobbs. I'm gaga for that site's kind of visual presentation, so clean, lean, easy to enjoy. The thingsmagazine site is marvelous! Spent a lovely long and blissful meander through their links.

Even ebooks have covers.

I knew a kid who hated Penguin paperbacks and I asked him why. He said because his mom would lie in bed reading them all he could see was the damn penguin on the book spine and he felt ignored.

Wondered if there were a relation between the Penguins and the Pelicans and there is, the Pelicans were part of the Penguin company: Pelican Books imprint, an imprint designed to educate the reading public rather than entertain. So that's why they chose the kind of academic austerity to the cover designs, a sort of no frills intelligent appearance, which put me off a bit when I was younger and now seems starkly futuristic.
posted by nickyskye at 8:02 PM on January 31, 2008

I love this one. They sure did loosen up after the 50s, didn't they? And that 1970s page is great - a perfect design snapshot. Thanks, dobbs.

(nicky, things magazine is one of the greatest blogs ever!)
posted by mediareport at 8:17 PM on January 31, 2008

I'm quite sure Things Magazine is made by a MeFite, but I haven't figured out who!

posted by blasdelf at 9:36 PM on January 31, 2008

Yeah, this is a bounty, thanks for posting. Now if only someone, somewhere had the complete collection of New Directions paperback covers. These are only the Alvin Lustig covers, but I would love to see them all in one place. Many of them are really beautiful.
posted by lovejones at 10:45 PM on January 31, 2008

Excellent, thanks.
posted by Wolof at 12:20 AM on February 1, 2008

Of the non-illustrated covers, they improve in 1950 with a redrawn logo and better typography. This mirrors the work Tschichold did with the Penguin covers in the late 40s. He may not have personally had a hand in the Pelican redesign, but it was certainly influenced by him.
posted by D.C. at 3:56 AM on February 1, 2008

Great post, thanks! The sixties covers are the ones that send me into Nostalgialand.
posted by languagehat at 6:58 AM on February 1, 2008

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