Redesigning Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov (with a butterfly)

Will a new cover on a classic inspire you to purchase a book you’d long looked over?

You all loved HarperPerennial’s Olive Editions and Penguin’s Classics. Now, Vintage is getting in on the action with a redesign of Nabokov’s works (coinciding with Tuesday’s publication of Nabokov’s posthumous novel, The Original of Laura).

Over at the Vintage and Anchor Books blog, there’s a post from Art Director John Gall on the project. He writes, “Every so often, a dream project lands on your desk. Here’s one: redesign Vladimir Nabokov’s book covers. All twenty-one of them. Let me rephrase. Every so often the most daunting project of your entire life arrives on your desk.”

What do you think of the result? Because Nabokov was an avid butterfly collector, each cover is designed to appear like a classic specimen box. Gall had a variety of designers help him with the project. I have to say that I love these retro, stylish covers. A few of my favorites are below. You can see a slideshow here.

Designers: Chip Kidd for Ada, or Ardor; Charles Wilkin for Look at the Harlequins!; Paul Sahre for The Luzhin Defense; Marian Bantjes for Transparent Things.

Related in BookPage: A handwritten interview from Chip Kidd and a review of Chip Kidd: Book One: Work: 1986-2006.

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