We have all seen quite enough of the British 60's paperbacks with the Helvetica and with the illustrations, and with the type left-justified at the top of the book...and we've seen quite enough of their imitators as well, the contemporary movies, tv shows and video games re-packaged as old penguins...
I, for one, hadn't yet seen these, and they are very cool. (and the Helvetica here is rounded, innit)
I can't for the life of me parse their meaning. Or whether there is a system of some kind at work. Does it matter if there isn't? Probably not. I love them anyway. The downside of using abstraction in design is that it's a hedge against betraying one's ignorance of the text being designed. The benefit is that one doesn't constrain the book's meaning by tying it to a specificity. I am, on the whole, pretty tired of abstraction in book design- but these are the progenitors; and they are courageously bold, brazen and bright.
(Thanks to Karen Horton, who saw these on Acejet.)
The Fontana Modern Masters Series. Art by Oliver Bevan, design by John Constable. Eye magazine article here. The inevitable painted homages here.
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