‘The 1920s’

  1. ‘F. Scott Fitzgerald’ series by Coralie Bickford-Smith

    May 8, 2013 by Victoria Love

    Penguin, 2010.

    'Flappers and Philosophers'  F. Scott Fitzgerald, 2010.

    Fig. I – ‘Flappers and Philosophers’
    F. Scott Fitzgerald, 2010. ( www.waterstones.com)

    Released in 2010 to mark the 70th anniversary of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s death, Coralie Bickford-Smith re-imagined the covers for his famous books. Each hardback cover in the series features a dust jacket that combines either black or white matte paper with gold, silver, or bronze foiling. The patterns all lean heavily on the Art Deco Movement which creates a strong, visual link to the 1920s, which is the era in which F. Scott Fitzgerald was writing and wrote about. Known as the ‘Jazz Age’ and the ‘Roaring Twenties’, it was a time of decadence and youth which is conveyed through the use of metallic foil and the textural quality of the covers.

    F. Scott Fitzgerald Series, 2010.

    Fig. J – F. Scott Fitzgerald Series Covers, 2010. ( cb-smith.com)

    The Art Deco style, which has come to epitomise this time was considered modern and radical, reflecting the changes in technology. The patterns and motifs draw heavily upon this design, reflecting the blend of modern, mechanised repetition and the lingering organics from the preceding Art Nouveau period. The typeface appears ‘of the time’, perhaps characterised by the interplay of bracketed serifs with a consistent stroke width, more commonly seen with the progressive sans-serif faces. Framed and given room to breathe against a hectic background, the typography is clear, light and linear which mirrors the exuberance of the time period.

    With a retail price of £14.99, the production budget for these titles was probably a little higher, allowing for the hardback format, heavy foiling and thicker paper.