02 May, 2009

Faber’s Beckett covers

Posted by: admin In: Creative Review

As part of its 80th anniversary celebrations (that we previously blogged about here), Faber & Faber is publishing an extensive series of Samuel Beckett’s works, including 18 novels, plays and short stories, to appear over the next two years. The typographic covers for the series were commissioned by Faber’s senior designer, Miriam Rosenbloom, and designed by London-based studio A2/SW/HK

According to Rosenbloom, the project has taken the best part of a year from concept to completion, with the designers working closely with the Beckett estate as well as Faber’s in-house Arts team.

“Our starting point was some of the 1960s Beckett covers from the Faber archive,” Rosenbloom explains, “which take a bold typographic approach.

“A2 seemed like the perfect match for the series; they are renowned for their typographic work and have a wonderful ability to work with historical reference while always remaining true to their individual style.”

Each cover features a bespoke font that comes in four weights, while the book’s titles runs vertically to allow for the use of large point sizes.

“A neutral grey background was selected as a counterpoint to the special Pantone colours chosen for each of the 18 titles,” explains A2’s Scott Williams.

“This choice is, in part, a playful reference to Beckett’s directive that his gravestone be ‘any colour, so long as it’s grey’.”

The end result allows for a playful variety in the sizing and layout of the titles, the length of which range from one single word to several phrases, as in the case of the collected editions.

“This allows for some unusual word breaks and so the titles bleed off the edge of the page giving an energy and tension to the design,” adds Rosenbloom. “The colour palette is fresh and complements this striking and type-led series design.”

The first five volumes in the series are set to be published in May by Faber & Faber.

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