Classic Book Jackets

The Design Legacy of George Salter

Thomas Hansen

     8.25 × 9.75 in (21.0 × 24.8 cm)
200 pages
224 color illustrations
Publication date: 1/1/2005
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781568984919

It's said that you can't judge a book by its cover. George Salter, a legendary figure in the field of book design, never subscribed to this belief. For more than forty years, his beautifully drawn and lettered covers served as elegant windows onto the works of such revered authors as Albert Camus, John Dos Passos, Jack London, and Thomas Mann. Salter had the rare ability to reduce the illustrated dust-jacket--a new part of the book package--to its essential elements. He could visually evoke--with typography, calligraphy, and pictorial imagery--the contents of any given book.

Salter's life and work bridged two continents and cultures, and spanned the severest political turmoil of the 20th century. Through a tumultuous life, nothing halted his tireless and brilliant design work. Classic Book Jackets tells Salter's story and describes the innovative design thinking he brought to his design students (including his designation of seven different jacket types that are still valid today). It includes more than 200 reproductions of his finest works, and a complete catalog of his jackets, designs, layouts, and lettering jobs for the book trade.

Thomas Hansen is Professor of German Language at Wellesley College and lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

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