Friday, 2 February 2018

The Art of Dust Jackets

A beautifully illustrated book came my way from the library in January. Beautifully illustrated because that's what it's all about.

Book jackets (originally called dust wrappers) started as pieces of plain paper wrapped around a book while they were in the bookseller's shop. Then publishers realised that they could be a way of advertising what was in the book and jackets were commissioned to reflect the contents and by the 1920s the jacket as we know it today became a familiar sight.



The author writes about the life and art of over 50 artists and illustrators from the middle decades of the 20th Century when this art-form flourished.

"Many of the designs reflect the changing visual styles and motifs of the period, including Bloomsbury, Art Deco, Modernism, Post war neo-romanticism and the Kitchen Sink School"

Here is a double page  featuring Stanley Badmin who illustrated jackets for early National Trust books almost mini landscape paintings
 


Edward Ardizzone........ book jackets instantly recognizable by anyone who  had children's books in the 1960s and 70s


John Nash. The artist who left his house -"Bottomgoms Farm"- on the Suffolk/Essex border  to his
 friend Ronald Blythe who has written many many books while living there.


 A lovely book to browse and I'm glad the library had a copy to borrow, so thank you to the book blogger who gave it a mention a few weeks ago.

Thanks to everyone for comments yesterday and it was  interesting to hear about Groundhog Day. 

Back Tomorrow
Sue


31 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I picked out my favourite pages, some are very weird and 1930 ish

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  2. I recognise the Ardizzone style. A blast from the past!
    J x

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    Replies
    1. He illustrated so many childrens books, I remember them from my library days

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  3. The library van should be here on Tuesday, I shall request this one. Book cover design influence and choice fascinates me, even though my favourite old recipe books/booklets often come without even their title pages, never mind a cover.

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    Replies
    1. Its a good book to browse through.I recognised a lot from my library days in the 1970s

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  4. I love the way we pass on details regarding good books, and other topics. Might have to have a read if our Library has a copy.

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    Replies
    1. I pick up lots of ideas for reading from blogs, don't always read what I borrow, but worth a look

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  5. Interesting, we tend to take these things for granted rather than seek out their origins xcx

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  6. That looks really interesting Sue.
    Hugs-x-

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  7. Don't judge a book by its cover. This is so true, the dust covers can really make or break a book.

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  8. I agree how we can be so influenced by a book cover, dependent on our tastes. That looks an interesting book.

    The illustration for "A Ring of Bells" instantly reminded me of the most beautiful x-stitch pattern I have (looking down on Widecombe I think it is) but I can't bring myself to start on it now we aren't moving to Devon.

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    1. That sounds a good X stitch - perhaps you could have a holiday there and get it started then

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  9. I love a lot of this sort of art, some of the jackets really are beautiful aren't they. Do you know the Batsford books which were guide books, they have wonderful jackets very reminiscent of railway posters of old.

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    1. We have a couple of small railway carriage prints from the 1950s. The big posters are much prized and very expensive now

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  10. This post took me back to school days when we had to take all new exercise books home and cover them. My Dad was a decorater and so mine were all covered in wall paper, lol
    Briony
    x

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    Replies
    1. We didn't have to cover exercise books - thank goodness

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  11. They say you can't tell a book by its cover, but I confess the cover strongly influences me, if I don't know the author!

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    1. The British Library Crime Classics have sold very well because of their covers being like old railway posters

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  12. I was always intrigued by Ardizzone illustrations. They weren't pretty like many book illustrations but they told you a lot about action in the story. I particularly loved a book illustrated by him which told the story of children moved to the country side to a relative, I think, who lived in a cottage. One of the boys started an archaeological dig in the garden, can't remember much more but would love to find it again.

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  13. That looks lovely.

    I've been tempted many a time to take the dust jackets off my books, I love the matt look of the book inside them and always thought my bookshelves would look a lot 'classier' ... but I've always resisted luckily :-)

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  14. That looks like a brilliant book which I will look out for.

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  15. Lovely book, I bet it was very interesting.

    God bless.

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  16. I didn't know the history of book jackets. Thank you!

    Oh I do love cover art on book jackets. So many books I have picked out, because of the cover art. :-)

    A bit off topic but, just read the other day, about some designer, who puts books on library shelves, with the "pages out". No various colors of books or book jackets showing. So as to have shelves of white/cream/etc. colors. Mmmmmmmmmmm...... ,-))))))

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  17. Gorgeous book on book jackets, Sue! And lovely for a resume of your Februarys (or is that Februaries?) over the past few years, thank you.
    Margaret P

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  18. Interesting to know how book jackets came about! I enjoy many of them. Thanks for sharing history and facts on your blog posts! Happy weekend!

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