Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Vintage reveals 'THERE IS ONLY ONE BOND' series covers

Having revealed the Classic line last month, Ian Fleming Publications and Random House/Vintage have now revealed the first seven covers from what they call their contemporary James Bond series. The first wave of seven books will be released on August 2, 2012. Here is the full press release:

Unveiling the New Bond Book Covers

‘Everyone thinks they know James Bond… Readers of every stripe have good reason to return to the source from which this extraordinary cultural phenomenon sprang: the books of Ian Fleming’
                                                                     -Sam Bourne

We recently unveiled the iconic Vintage Classics covers and are delighted to now share with you the first seven covers in the contemporary Vintage paperback series, which will be published on 2 August 2012 in the English language worldwide exc USA/Canada.

The publishing programme has been underpinned by significant consumer insight to bring a new generation of readers to Ian Fleming’s work and engage people who ‘know’ Bond primarily through the film franchise.

As well as reflecting the rich literary history and heritage of the James Bond character, the new Vintage covers tap into the deeper and more human side of our hero Bond; including his isolation and vulnerability.

Vintage Publishing Sales Director and Bond Brand Manager Tom Drake-Lee says: ‘While both cover approaches appeal universally, the iconic “retro” illustrative approach to the Vintage Classic editions reinforces the books as classic spy thrillers and captures the style and panache of the late fifties and early sixties, particularly for readers who enjoy classics and those wanting to discover and rediscover Ian Fleming’s brilliant creation.

By depicting a lone man in the standard Vintage editions our photographic approach appeals to the reader of modern contemporary thrillers and emphasises that not only is there more to Bond than the character in the films, but also that Bond is the original action hero from which so many modern heroes derive. He is the original and best!’

Tom Drake-Lee, Vintage Publishing Sales Director and Bond Brand Manager

Visit The Book Bond's Vintage Fleming page for release dates and pre-order links.

UPDATE: Second wave covers revealed.


  1. THIS is a bit more like it. Nice one, Vintage. Not only thoughtful and nicely designed but well executed (photo montages are often photoshop disasters). You'll be getting my hard earned for this set, I can tell you now. Thanks for the warning, John!

  2. Cool, John. I've been waiting to see more upcoming designs. I really like their idea of focusing attention on the character as an isolated man on missions. And the photo design allows readers to imagine the face, as well as imagine themselves in the locales, seeing the adventure through their own eyes.
    -Jason (Spy Vibe)

  3. They look better than the Classic line, but that's not saying much...

  4. I like them, although they could be ads for aftershave or the poster for another 28 days later movie. Casino Royale is by far the best design. My faves are still those grey ones which had a lot of Connery on them.

    On an unrelated note, I thought I'd share with your readership that the new John Gardners are already being discounted in The Works. I got Icebreaker, Role of Honour and another one (mind's gone blank!) for a fiver! Worth picking them up?

  5. Gypsy King:
    The 3rd title is Nobody Lives For Ever, these were the three titles released in as a batch in May. The downside to this bargain are the stickers The Works (a UK discount book shop) insist on putting on the covers - impossible to remove without leaving a gummy mess behind that glues the books together! :-/

  6. Nice. Almost tempted to replace the Penguin set, but it seems like I just bought them.

    It will be interesting to see how the Amazon printed titles compare here in the states. It would be ironic if folks order these from Amazon UK to choose them over what Amazon is publishing in the US.

  7. I was thinking that these designs put me in the perspective of the isolated agent (largely because the faces are obscured), but the above comment about aftershave advertising has me seeing them in a new light! lol. I like the photography. But something about the gold letters on grey... I'm not there yet. Seems stuffy? I think keeping everything in monochrome would have had a more elegant edge. Now, for the US amazon editions...still waiting to see.

    Briefly, I also re-explored my Fahey collection recently and came to appreciate how the designs spotlight the women- soon to be in peril- from the baddies looming nearby. No hero is shown. Interesting! Comparing back to my early signets, it's all about a man standing in front of a woman to protect her. By the 2000's, I suppose we ourselves stand in as the hero by proxy of our role as viewers.

    -Jason )Spy Vibe)

  8. I definitely like this line better that the "classic" line, and I think it succeeds in what it sets out to do: appealing to contemporary thriller readers. Overall they're pretty well executed, but the Bond figure seems a tad sloppily inserted into a few of the environments. They'll be great on bookstore shelves (wherever those still exist)... But not in my collection, I don't think. These two Vintage lines are the first ones I've ever NOT felt compelled to collect! (Unless they do a box set. I can't resist those!)

  9. There is something rather 'wet' about these new cover designs, as though there’s an idea in there somewhere trying to escape.

    They lack focus and any kind of dynamic.

    It’s as though someone has just turned up at a random moment with a camera and pressed the shutter release, then walked off, and that’s it!

    The corporate psychobabble 'explaining' these covers is about as convincing as David Niven as James Bond.

    In recent years, Richie Fahey's Bond cover designs remain the only stand out work.

    Raymond Hawkey's cover designs of the 1960s remain the zenith of Bond paperback design, and going by the feeble 21st Century efforts to date, they are in no danger of being equalled, let alone surpassed.

    Graham Rye
    007 MAGAZINE

    1. One day the publishers will put two and two together and realise Graham Rye is a designer who likes Bond and they'll ask him to do the next set of covers rather than the work experience kid who did their Classic Bond range. How would you tackle that, Graham?

      Ps is this title font the same as the one Hawkey used?

    2. No, this is not the same typeface used by Raymond Hawkey.

      I think I have as much chance of being commissioned to design a set of James Bond covers as being asked to write & direct BOND 24.

      But thanks for your vote of confidence Dan.


  10. * i was thinking of the PAN covers above (not early Signets).

    I agree with Graham. The Hawkey designs are probably my favorite of all the paperbacks. There is a fine balance there between minimalism and suggested tone to evoke our imaginations. They seem unselfconsciously modern.

    -Jason (Spy Vibe)

  11. These would have been much better without the badly Photoshopped Bond figures. The differences in light sources and shadow really don't match with the most egregious being the beach scenes. The Penguin set that came out around 2008 are, I think, my personal favorites aside from Chopping originals.

  12. The "Dr No" cover really irks me. Bond is in the tropics, but has his shirt cuffs buttoned up. Would have been a nice nod to the film (yeah, I know Book Bond is meant to be separate from Film Bond) if the cover showed Bond's sleeves and trouser cuffs rolled up. And no shoes on, of course. These covers remind me a little too much of the Bourne novel covers of recent years. And that's not a good thing. Still, these books will appear in bookstores and help spread the word amongst Gen Y that Bond existed before Daniel Craig was born.
    I suppose that's something. ;-)


Legal Disclosure

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.