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Cover by Paul Leni: G. Zeitschrift für elementare Gestaltung. Edited by Hans Richter.
No. 5/6: Film. Berlin (independently published, 1926) © Taschen

Work / Graphic Design

The stunning, forward-thinking book covers of Weimar Germany

One of the biggest tests of the quality of a design is its ability to look as striking today as when it was published, when nothing in its message or its aesthetic is lost over time. If you want, say, 1000 examples of this then look no further than Taschen’s stunning new publication Book Covers in the Weimar Republic. The tome showcases book jackets from the inter-war years in Germany, which Taschen rather accurately describes as “some of the most outstanding and forward-thinking book designs in history.”

The images have been collated from the collection of Jürgen Holstein, and feature children’s books, political literature and artist monographs; each bringing us superb and bold examples of typography, illustration, and graphic design that have been referenced ever since. Jürgen also provides an introduction detailing the leading figures in Weimar-era publishing. It was an age where a “freewheeling spirit” flourished, in the words of Taschen, “only to be trampled, burned, or driven out of the country with the rise of National Socialism.”

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Cover illustration by George G. Kobbe.: Egon Erwin Kisch. Klassischer Journalismus.
Berlin: Rudolf Kaemmerer, 1923 © Taschen

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Cover by Martin Weinberg: Um uns die Stadt. Edited by Robert Seitz and Heinz Zucker
Berlin: Sieben Stäbe-Verlag,1931 © Taschen

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Cover by Georg Salter: Ignatz Straßnoff. Ich, der Hochstapler Ignatz Strassnoff.
Berlin: Verlag Die Schmiede, 1926 © Taschen

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Jacket illustration by El Lissitzky: Erste russische Kunstausstellung, Berlin 1922.
Galerie van Diemen & Co., Berlin: Verlag Internationale Arbeiterhilfe, 1922 © Taschen

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Cover by Pewas: Sacco und Vanzetti. Berlin: Mopr-Verlag, 1928 © Taschen

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Cover illustration by Garvens: Polyphem. Mit dem rechten Auge. Berlin: “Der Deutschenspiegel” (1925) © Taschen

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Cover by Jan Tschichold: Otto Mänchen-Helfen. Drittel der Menschheit. Berlin: Der Bücherkreis,
1932 © Taschen

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Cover drawing by Dugo (András Szenes): Stefan Lorant. Wir vom Film. Berlin: Theater und Film Verlagsgesellschaft (1928) © Taschen

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Taschen: Book Covers in the Weimar Republic

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Cover illustration by Walter Trier: Erich Kästner. Emil und die Detektive. Ein Roman für Kinder.
Berlin: Williams & Co. (1931) © Taschen