The Vintage Look is a blog that examines a variety of recently published book covers that draw upon ideas of the past. In their analysis, I will explore the choices made by the designer and evaluate their effectiveness, thereby allowing me to understand the designer’s role in the production process and the considerations that have to be made.

nostalgia, n. Sentimental longing for or regretful memory of a period of the past, esp. one in an individual’s own lifetime; (also) sentimental imagining or evocation of a period of the past.”
(Oxford English Dictionary, 2003)

In recent years, there has been a distinct appetite across society for nostalgia. Whether it is found in the media, film or design, the values of the past are constantly being employed to dispel unease and apprehension in modern society. In terms of graphic design and the design of book covers, nostalgia and a past heritage is frequently used to help create a visual link and convey the content of the book to the consumer as they browse the bookshelves.

By definition, nostalgia is primarily, a positive emotion and most of the book covers I have examined follow this line. Nevertheless, I felt it necessary to look at how negative connections and memories are considered when designing a book cover.

Over the years, plenty of notable designers have valued the space and voice that the book cover provides. There have been many designs that are innovative and challenge the perceptions of the book-buying public, but there is a gamut of influences and ideas that are at play in the mind of the cover designer.

For those who love literature and reading, there is great value to be found in the medium of a traditional printed book and the following designs play on this nostalgic desire. In a time where print is struggling, the physical, printed word is slowly becoming a premium, luxury item. The appropriation of historic design styles works to stimulate a sense of quality.


Production Processes in Publishing
SID: 0706097/2


This website is part of my MA Publishing degree at Anglia Ruskin University.

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