Among the highlights in May's selection are a trio of titles designed by Jo Walker, a slew of new and incredibly colourful children's publications, and a couple of strikingly lettered, comically titled books (one designed by Walker, in fact). There's also one of the more striking uses of 'hand-lettering' we have seen for some time (for a title about political uprising, near the foot of our selection); it's got a Sharpie-sharp urgency that is a beautiful fit, a far cry from the often chintzy/twee calligraphy of Young Adult and commercial/"chick-lit" fiction titles. So bravo Yale University Press, making its perfectbound bow, and designer Sonia Shannon.
While we're on the topic of lettering, elaborate and frankly rather fat serifs with extreme stroke contrast appear to be enjoying something of a revival (Death of a She-Devil, The Love of a Bad Man, Syria: Recipes from Home) – it's something we've picked up on in the broader design world, too. And, right at the end of our round-up, type doyen David Pearson takes an altogether different, but no less striking approach to lettering in a cover designed for Pluto Press.
As ever, let us know your favourites and do share your favourites from our Instagram page, where these will be uploaded throughout the month.
The first two covers in our round-up both come from HarperCollins imprint 4th Estate — and both from the fair pen/pencil/mouse of Jo Walker, who designed both Tim Dowling’s Dad You Suck and Laline Paull’s The Ice. (And who we spoke to about her recent Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie covers here.) The latter also uses illustration by Chris Wormell (he of H is for Hawk and The Raven linocut fame).
Next up is kids’ title So Many Feet by Nichole Mara, which is illustrated by Alexander Vidal (the cover, and throughout) and designed by Alyssa Nassner for Abrams. Little, Brown list Abacus will publish the rather lovely Mark Swan (Kid Ethic)-designed edition of Douglas Coupland’s Generation X; art direction on this one was by Sean Garrehy.
Another kids’ title in a relatively children’s-heavy month for perfectbound, Under the Same Sky by Britta Teckentrup was designed by Alex Fowler, illustrated by Teckentrup herself, and produced by Hayley Maye. All for Caterpillar Books. And for Canongate, Pete Adlington constructed the cover for The Art of Losing Control by Jules Evans.