Book cover designer Peter Mendelsund has just finished work on a publication that brings together the fruits of his career thus far in the form of a rather beautiful monograph. To those of us that know his work well it seems like a deserved achievement to have it represented in a book of his own, but he’s typically modest of the honour: “After producing enough passable design to have established a reputation – and after having participated in the requisite interviews, given the obligatory talks, and pursued the necessary whimsical side projects of varying natures – it is de rigeur that a designer should then publish a book of his or her work.” And so he has.
In it you’ll find a great many of the extraordinary covers he’s worked on over the years – including stand-out designs for Franz Kafka, Julio Cortázar and James Joyce – all of them highlighting the fact that Peter is a practitioner working slavishly to keep print relevant and exciting by representing great literary works with his own powerful visual language. He’s imaginatively named the book Cover, and designed something deceptively simple to bring everything together, presumably representing the blank canvas he faces at the beginning of each new commission.
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