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V&A teams with Vintage for Designer Classics
20.01.12 | Charlotte Williams
Vintage Classics is working in association with the Victoria & Albert Museum to re-issue seven of its bestselling novels with covers created by top designers.
The Designer Classics will be published in March to mark the V&A's big spring exhibition, "British Design 1948–2012: Innovation in the Modern Age", which runs from 31st March to 12th August. Random House creative director Suzanne Dean worked with the V&A curators to decide on the seven designers and match them to one of the series titles.
The seven titles are each from a different decade, beginning in the 1940s and culminating in the 2000s. The earlier titles are: I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (originally published in 1949) with the new cover, featuring a garden motif, designed by textile specialist Celia Birtwell; The End of the Affair by Graham Greene (published in 1951), with a new look featuring a pack of cards created by interior designer Sue Timney; and The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles (first published in 1969), given a new look by milliner Philip Treacy.
Fashion designer Zandra Rhodes has tackled the cover for The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch, from 1978; Money by Martin Amis, from 1984, has been given a stark new look by advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi; and Enduring Love by Ian McEwan, published in 1998, has been designed by WilkinsonEyre Architects, with the iconic hot air balloon from the existing cover given a graphic spin.
A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon, first published in 2006, completes the series, with its new cover—a hypnotic collection of dots—designed by Michael Horsham at the art design collective Tomato. All will be £9.99 flapped paperbacks.
Dean said she hopes the new looks will "appeal to people who might not have read these titles, but who might now, seeing them in a different environment, or having gone to the exhibition.
"It's all about widening and broadening the opportunity for people to discover the books, to catch people's eyes. Reinvention is always exciting and it gives us that opportunity to push them to the front of people's minds."