In an inspired move, Penguin Modern Classics have repackaged John Steinbeck‘s epic accounts of American life with Polaroids by early-twentieth-century photographer, Walker Evans:

“For the covers, Penguin Picture Editor Sam Johnson turned to the work of Walker Evans and, in particular, his striking series of 2,650 Polaroid pictures that he took in 1973, two years before his death.

Some of Evans’ most famous photographs, shot during the Great Depression for the Farm Security Administration (FSA), connected his work intimately to the struggles of American farming families in the 1930s – a time when Steinbeck was also writing some of his most celebrated works and addressing similar themes. In Dubious Battle, the the first of his ‘Dustbowl trilogy’, was published in 1936 and was followed by Of Mice and Men (1937) and The Grapes of Wrath (1939).

Having previously dismissed colour photography, it seems that Evans embraced the Polaroid SX-70 and looked anew at the America he had depicted throughout his life. For Johnson the connection with Steinbeck was obvious – but she was keen to come at the depiction of America from a different angle.”

— Mark Sinclair, Creative Review

Source: Classic Penguin.

“Following on from their horror classics series selected by Guillermo Del Toro, Penguin US is publishing six hardcover science fiction and fantasy classics this fall with introductions from Neil Gaiman, and (more importantly!) brilliant typographic covers by Brooklyn-based Spanish designer Alex Trochut. Available in October, the finished covers will be foil on uncoated paper over board.”

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Vintage’s reissue series of Thomas Pynchon’s novels and short fiction

thomas-pynchon-yuko-kondo-paperback-design-against-the-day (more…)

From an interview with It’s Nice That

Tell us who you are and what you do?

My name is Richard and I design book covers. Or a slightly longer explanation would be; I’m a cover designer for the publisher Penguin Books, where I work with artists, designers, editors and authors to produce books – which hopefully someone, somewhere will pickup and read. (more…)

4th Estate releases beautiful contemporary editions of Ballard’s novels and short stories

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4th Estate have collaborated with the artist Stanley Donwood, known for his work with the rock group Radiohead, to produce a series of luminous, beautiful, surreal, and contemporary designs for 21 of J.G. Ballard’s works. Donwood is known for the way he playfully manipulates the signs and symbols of modern life, in colour and collage, and his signature style is ideally suited to Ballard’s aesthetic. The new editions, which come complete with a series of illuminating introductions, will welcome a whole new generation of readers to Ballard’s fantastical and prophetic worlds. Extremely impressive.

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