Sunday, 13 June 2010

Great Moments in Dustwrapper Design

I have always loved Gollancz dustwrappers. They are so simple, so easily recognised. It is as if the management of Gollancz decided at some point that they really didn't need a design team after all.

They remind me a little of that Larson cartoon where a man is standing in his doorway holding a dripping paint brush, and all around him are things with their names painted on them: the dog (dog), the tree (tree), the house (house), and the man says something like "that ought to clear up a few things around here". Well, Gollancz's range of its-a-book-you-idiot wrappers are like that: book.

Except this one. This one they went all out on. Its still yellow, but it is covered in all kinds of words and stuff: "Great Reissue!" "Occult Doom & Destiny" Good grief, they really were trying in 1969 with The Super-naural Omnibus. But they clearly over-reached themselves. Have a very close look at the last line of type.

Yep, "Price: 620" (I am not sure of the denomination: 620 pounds? 620 shillings? 620 pence? ) and "Pages: 25/-" (25 pages and some?). I wonder if they ever noticed or, if they did notice, whether they cared. Perhaps it is missing a few brackets and should be read "Price [620 Pages] 25/-" with "620 Pages" as in interpolation.

Perhaps it should be expanded as "The price for this 620 page book is twenty-five shillings"? Who knows. But it is almost as good as the "Barrack" Obama mugs being sold at the parliamentary gift shop.

[UPDATE: 2 July 2016: After all my pictures disappeared (again) I decided to give up on external hosts for large versions (1000px) of my image files and, for now on, will stick with the smaller images (500px), which Blogger is prepared to host.]

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