Tuesday, April 24, 2012

IAN FLEMING VINTAGE CLASSIC COVER ART REVEALED

UPDATE: Click here to see the full set of covers.

Ian Fleming Publications and Random House/Vintage have previewed cover art for their "Vintage Classic" set of the original Ian Fleming James Bond novels. All 14 Bond books will be published in paperback in the UK on September 6, 2012.

So far five covers have been officially revealed (others have leaked, but I'm playing by the rules). IFP promises to reveal the full series of new covers for the Classics as well as those for the 14 new Vintage Standard editions (due out Aug 2) on their website.

It was also announced today that a "dazzling array of authors" will write introductions to the Vintage Classics, including Giles Foden, Sam Bourne, Andrew Taylor, Tom Rob Smith, Kate Mosse and Len Deighton.

I like these stylish covers and I think they are just right for a "Classic" set. I especially like they they've resisted using the familiar girls, guns, and silhouettes.

Click here for pre-order links to all the Vintage Fleming books.


Thanks to our friends at IFP and Random House for allowing me to share this preview.

29 comments:

  1. Hm. Yeah, I like them too... Though I'm not sure I'll actually buy this set. The OHMSS title treatment is pretty neat, and I like how the Octopussy one recalls the US 1st. But I REALLY wish they mentioned Ian Fleming! Is this final art, or are these details? Seems weird IFP would leave the author's name off his own books!

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    1. You know, I didn't even realize Fleming's name wasn't on the cover. Interesting. Doesn't really bother me. As far as I know, these are final.

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    2. Vintage covers normally have the author name where these have 007, e.g "Vintage Fleming". I didn't notice until I read Tanner's post either.

      I think incorporating the "image" into the title text (meaning that you can't really add any kind of accompanying image) and the solid one colour background makes them look very sparse (though I have to admit I do like the sniper rifle in the word DAYLIGHTS).

      I was more interested in seeing the "Standard" (non-Classic) ones anyway.

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  2. Ugh. Looks like a bunch of Saul Bass rejects. And yes, where is Fleming's name?

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  3. As a graphic designer I think they are awful and incredibly amateurish. As far as the Saul Bass rejects I can see your point, but Saul Bass was a truly great graphic designer and I reckon he would have designed some wonderful covers. At least it saves me money.

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  4. They do little for me, I'm afraid. The Russia and Casino ones are the best of a rather mediocre lot of designs.

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  5. I want to like them more than I do as its the sort of thing I'd come up with given the brief. But because I can see things I'd dislike about my own work in them (!), I have reservations. Turning everything into a logo or ident seems a bit old fashioned (like the 007 gun logo symbol from 50 years ago). They really need not have bothered...the Cape & Richard Chopping designs were the obvious choice for paperback re-releases, especially in the 60th anniversary year. I hope the Classic range is a little less rushed. I'm aware Vintage will be thinking "there's no pleasing some people..." :)

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  6. Wow . . . these are incredibly dull. I collect various editions of Fleming's work, and these are the most uninspired covers I've seen. Penguin did a great job with the pulp artwork on their centenary editions. These look as if very little creative effort went into any of them. A shame.

    And, yes, where is Fleming's name?

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  7. I like them, and I think the OHMSS text is pretty clever. The designs are a bit of old and a bit of new. Can't wait to see the rest!

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  8. I've got to agree with those who don't like the covers. I want to like them. Really, I do. But I don't. The absence of Fleming's name is a major problem. And many people will have no idea that these are James Bond books (at least not younger readers who may not recall the older movies). The tiny 007 in the upper corner won't be enough to attract attention. The test I like to think of is whether the cover stands out so much that it would make a casual reader walking through a bookshop stop and pick up the book to see what it is. I don't think that these covers will do that. I think they will be just another book that most readers will walk right by.

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    1. But I think the standard Vintage editions -- yet to be revealed -- are the books that are meant to attach the general audience. These are Classics for those who know what's what. I also expect the standard covers were supposed to be revealed first as those are the books that will be released first. But Amazon screwed up.

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  9. Absolute rubbish. Richard Chopping Rules.

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    1. Agreed. Chopping's covers still reign supreme!

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  10. That OHMSS is so subtle that I did not get that it was the Union Jack being cropped. Unfortunately it feels a bit like the American Republican Party Elephant logo? I'm a graphic artist so understand the background for these visuals, but still feel they look like first drafts that need some refining and layering upon. They feel like Bass knockoffs, but don't live up to the already rich Bond design cannon.

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  11. Can think of only one word. Unimpressive. And that's a kind understatement.To me the best looking trio of Bond book ever are: the 60s Pan Books series (with very simple but striking visuals - not the early Great Pans); the 70s Triad Panther series each with a scantily clad babe sort of riding or sitting on a huge golden gun with suggestive poses (and those legs!!); and the more recent Penguin Modern Classics with half using film stills of Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Shirley Eaton and the rest with artsy photography. I don't like the pulp fiction style centenary penguins at all, nor the ones with the nude girl drawings that rip off the '67 Casino Royale poster. I think these downgraded the image of the books. Oh but the worst is the dark non-designs of the penguin (again!) paperback covers some years back. Check out this link for reference: http://www.toysofbond.co.uk/Printed_Material/james_bond_fleming_gardner_benson_books.html

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    1. I can see your point about some of the cover's failings (the Toby McFarlan Pond 2002 'Elements' designs for Penguin were of great restraint and perhaps less than effective because of it, then again, that's why some people like them so much) and I can understand Richie Fahey's 2006 Retro Penguin designs may not be everyone's cup of mud (to quote Fleming), but I honestly can't think of two less inspiring sets than the ones you say are your favourites! Just my opinions of course but the Triad girl on a giant gun set is not only exceptionally tacky but out of date almost the moment it was released, yet alone five years later (when it was still being used), and wouldn't anyone agree the godawful public domain press photographs Penguin used in 2004 were just utterly diabolical? Out of focus (Doctor No), unflattering (Thunderball), random images (Moonraker) which didn't tell you anything about the stories. How on earth did that ridiculous photoshop job of Connery standing in front of an explosion have anything to do with the story You Only Live Twice. They were clearly put together in one afternoon by someone who had a passing knowledge of the films, yet alone the books, and a budget of £100. With hindsight, this new Vintage set is pretty good!

      Just my opinion! :)

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    2. In the UK, Coronet released the series with visually striking artwork in, I believe, the late '80s or early '90s. Those were great.

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    3. UK covers were often more creative than US which were always using these same corny Bond silhouettes in his various firing poses...you just wouldn't pick it up!!

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    4. I think the US and UK have traded off with having better covers over the years. I think the edge goes to the UK, but there have been twice as many reprints in the UK, so they've had more chances to get them right. :) And remember the last Coronet UK edition? The ultimate in horrible silhouettes.

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  12. And don't u just love the movie tie-in covers esp. the old ones? By the way I'm only talking about paperbacks. Hardcovers of course the Jonathan Cape Choppings are like GOD!

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  13. Although i understand why people are upset concerning the absence of Ian Flemming's name, i am a fan of the covers as art. Would anyone have advice on obtaining them in poster form?

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    1. I'm a fan too. Don't know about posters.

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  14. Did an exec from British Leyland make these?

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  15. there are so many great Artists out there, why this????

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  16. Wow I love these! Looking forward to the rest of the set. I enjoy the more typographic approach, and how key elements from the stories accompany them. In their own way they seem to pay a little homage to the Pan Books covers which I also liked.

    Lovely work.

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    1. They look nothing like the classic 60s PAN covers that have 'JAMES BOND', 'Ian Fleming', the book title and a smart, simple iconic visual that crystallize the theme of the book. These vintage covers here? Unimaginative.

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  17. Wow, boring boring. These are the worst covers ever.

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  18. I actually really like these. Minimalist and clean.

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