I have a real booknerd thing for those publishers and imprints who’ve created instantly recognisable cover styles, their books following a confident uniformity that makes them at once both striking and familiar. Some have become almost a part of our culture to the point where they mean something even to people who aren’t big readers: mention Penguin Classics and everyone can recall instantly what they look like. For the book obsessive, this is a source of both immense happiness and potential anguish; I remember being ridiculously sad when Penguin changed their Modern Classics cover design away from the silver spines, because what was that going to do to the aesthetics of my bookshelves?! Fortunately, there are some real style icons out there that look nothing short of magnificent when grouped side by side in any bookshop or bookcase. Here are some of my absolute faves!
Persephone Books have absolutely nailed simplicity of cover design: superficially there’s almost nothing to it, but that grey, the ever so slight variation in dimensions compared to your average paperback – there’s no mistaking it. I love them because to me they have a look about them that’s somehow a little old fashioned – in the best possible way! I also adore Fitzcarraldo’s striking, plain covers. Like Persephone, they’ve eschewed detail and illustration for unique and unmistakable colour; I know they do white covers too but I’ve always been mesmerised by that gorgeous cobalt blue. Lastly, I have to give a shout out to the Canongate Canons series. Unlike the other two publishers on my podium of book styling, they do use a different illustration for each title, but still, there’s something about the design that I just love. It could be the combination of the white spines and the vibrant colours? I’m not sure – but when I was thinking about this blog post I knew they had to be in here.
I’d put money on the fact that there are many of you book lovers out there who are similarly attached to your own particular favourite cover designs, so do comment and let me know what they are!
Thanks for reading x