Arbeiderspers publishers, Book covers, Burmese Days book title, culture, design, Down and Out in Paris and London book title, education, George Orwell author, Graphic design, history, History of the book, Keep the Apisdistra Flying book title, Kees Kelfkens book design, Language, Libraries, Netherlands, Typography history, University College London UCL, world
Who has not read George Orwell’s most famous book Nineteen Eighty-Four? This book title is continuously in print! The above shown book cover is, in my opinion, a rather stodgily designed one though. This British hardbound 1974 edition was printed in Finland. The cover designer(s) listed as “Format”, is (are) not known to me.
We are just looking at the design of the book cover in this post not the book content. Of course, these are purely my observations from a discerning eye’s viewpoint. So lets compare the visual impact on the above cover with the one shown below. It is a Dutch softcover edition published by the Arbeiderspers in 1971. The book cover design is by Kees Kelfkens, and although it uses a similar brown background it creates much more excitement with the large somewhat faded on purpose black letters.
The back cover is easy to read and contains a photograph from the Orwell Archives.
The book covers of these softcover editions follow a well designed approach.Above shown is a second printing dated 1983 in Dutch, the first appeared in 1973. This is a translation of the 1936 book with the title Keep the Apisdistra Flying perhaps one of the lesser read books by Orwell.
Looking at the above covers and unfortunately no design credit is given here by the publisher, it is obvious what a well thought out design and layout will do for a book. I personally prefer the Dutch 1984 (third photo from the top), but it would be hard to imagine a design concept that could be applied and recognized based on those numerous editions alone in subsequent books. Case closed!