Given Vladimir Nabokov's popularity, his books don't sell as well as you'd expect. Hoping to attract more readers, Penguin commissioned Pentagram's Angus Hyland to design less stuffy covers for their entire 24-title Nabokov backlist. "The thinking was to create a strong presence in Nabokov by having his own look and feel and to sort of play up the playfulness and seductiveness and wickedness of his style," Hyland explains, "rather than the usual tackle of Nabokov, which is much more high-literature."
After designing three separate concepts, the Nabokov estate, with the permission of Vladimir's only son, Dmitri, approved the versions shown here. As Hyland puts it, the chosen covers better reflect the author's style—they "celebrate the very classical, conservative quality that is in Nabokov, which is really subverted by the books, by the writing."
MORE ON BOOK DESIGN:
Charlotte Strick: Where the Cover of Your Favorite Novel Comes From
Rebecca Greenfield: Hand-Sewn Book Covers
Penguin is releasing the covers in three batches over the year. The following are images from the last set in the series. You can find the previous titles at Pentagram.
Images: Courtesy of Pentagram
This article available online at: