Saturday, 12 October 2013

Nineteen Eighty-Four

A great cover for a great novel. George Orwell's 1984 gets a creative treatment in the "Great Orwell" series published by Penguin. Designer David Pearson has also crafted new covers for other Orwell books in the series. The result is quite stunning.

The title and author are subtly debossed and graphically redacted. As Sir Humphrey would say, this was a "very brave" choice for Penguin to make. Rarely would a corporate publishing house deliberately produce a cover that obliterates the title, but in this case it is a graphical masterstroke. Pearson's covers for the other titles in the series are graphical homages to both Orwell's texts and to Penguin's history of cover design.
This cover's effectiveness is no mean feat, considering the numerous editions Nineteen Eighty-Four has been published in since 1949. While many of the more the literal photographic covers from older editions have dated considerably, Pearson's cover conveys the dread of the novel without resorting to melodrama. 

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