Sunday, April 22, 2012


From: Book of Joe

Some iconic titles are associated, in my mind at least, with certain colours. Apart from The Little Red Book ("The Quotations of Chaiman Mao") by Mao Zedong, the next book that comes to mind is the plain, dark red cover of the ubiquitous Signet paperback edition of J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye; followed by the blue of Joseph Heller's Catch 22 cover. My favorite red cover is the hardcover edition of The Stories of John Cheever.
     I remember picking a copy of Alvin Toffler's Future Shock from a display case of the paperback edition; it was available in four or five background colours. (Back in the Seventies all sorts of bestsellers were coming out with this option.) I picked the white one — I'm sure of that because it's still on my bookshelf.
     More recent titles seem to be lost in a swirling, blendered dazzle of the entire spectrum—print technology has turned the discipline of the fifties and sixties (design choices that maximized impact and minimized production costs) on its ear... or eye. And with the advent of e-books and digital publishing in general, the notion that the contents can forever be associated with the colour of the package, for books at least, will become a thing of the past.
— Michael Hale

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