As summer reading season approaches, there's plenty of sunny book designs for readers to enjoy, with the publications from UK lists in the month of June forming a colourful collective. Prominent on many is an unusual approach to typesetting—in terms of alignment of both a horizontal and vertical slant—with a minimal graphic approach notable on many covers, too. Fans of negative space, you're about to have a ball. On the flip side, this may be our most illustrated selection yet, with a number of beautifully ornate compositions: chief among them a competition-winner from Romanian draughts(wo)man Aitch, who we have featured before. And we'll wager you'll see plenty of her work in the coming months, too. It sits alongside another collaboration by the award-winning duo of Vintage creative director Suzanne Dean and illustrator Aino Maija Metsola, perpendicular in tact, but no less arresting.
Freelancer gray.318 heads this month's designer pack with two compositions—incidentally, both of which are cardiac in appearance, though with vastly different approaches. From a publisher perspective, HarperCollins has plenty to bark about, with its 4th Estate, Borough Press and William Collins lists all featuring, while Faber and Viking each have two titles featured, with the latter's especially provocative: the artwork for Will Self's Phone, art-directed by John Hamilton, is an absolute joy.
As ever, let us know your favourites and do share your favourites from our Instagram page, where these will be uploaded throughout the month.
Up first we have a couple of titles issued in June by 4th Estate: The Mighty Franks: A Memoir by Michael Frank, and Borne by Jeff Vandermeer. The former uses the US artwork, which was created by Alex Merto, and the latter was designed in-house by Jo Walker.
Patterns and patriotism in abundance in our next two jacket designs, the first of which was created by Richard Shailer, Transworld’s deputy art director, for Bantam Press. The title in question is Al-Britannia, My Country, by James Fergusson. And there’s a Germanic vibe to Aaron Phull’s composition for Amberley Press, for a work entitled What Have the Germans Ever Done for Us?, which was penned by Susan Duxbury-Neumann.
Anatomy aplenty in The Bodley Head’s The Matter of the Heart, authored by Thomas Morris. Its jacket artwork was designed by gray318. Bloomsbury’s cover for Laleh Khadivi’s A Good Country, meanwhile, was designed Stateside by Patti Ratchford.
Up next we’ve two colourful compositions for Jonathan Cape and The Borough Press, both created by illustrators. The Idiot, Elif Batuman’s latest novel, was illustrated by Aino Maija Metsola under the art direction of Suzanne Dean. (You may remember the pair’s collaboration on a series of Virginia Woolf’s backlist titles, which picked up the ABCD awards’ Series Design gong earlier this year.) Rosie Garland’s The Night Brother was designed and illustrated by the talented hand of Romanian illustrator Aitch, who we caught up with recently—stay tuned for the interview, which will be published in The Bookseller in due course. In fact, the cover was the result of Aitch winning the Bridgeman Studio Award last year, which you can read all about right here.
Two Faber titles next, both with a Didoty vibe: A Book of Untruths (by Miranda Doyle) was designed in-house by Donna Payne, while The Secret Life (by Andrew O’Hagan) was created by Luke Bird, also in-house.