"The book cover for Günter Grass’s [The] Tin Drum represents everything for me that a good cover should. It’s not only a bold and beautiful design, it’s a cover that reminds me of a time and a space. A life-marker. It sat on my parents’ shelf next to Graham Greene, looking grown-up and exotic and probably a bit too clever for a little person to understand. But it looked exciting: the boldness and confidence of the illustration and type—as if the artist just picked up a brush and painted it on directly; the iconic Oskar and his vibrant red drum.
Later, as a recent graduate working at Minerva Books in London, I helped design the paperback covers for Grass’s novels. I knew nothing about Grass at all, I hadn’t read a thing. I was given a pile of artwork—just black-and-white drawings—and was told that this was the artwork to be used. Flipping through the stack, I came across the icon of the drummer boy and was immediately transported back to my parents’ library."
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