Judging a book by its cover? - Chinese book cover design

By Helen Wang, published

A recent posting on Paper Republic on recycled book covers prompted me to take a look at Chinese cover design (I’m a bit bored with the Shanghai beauties approach). I found a few, but I suspect I have missed something essential – any recommendations?

(The links don’t always work, hence the full references)

Chinese Book Cover Design 1950s-1980s – some old favourites here

The Four Essential Elements for Chinese/Japanese Book Cover - Blossom, Fan, Dragon, Woman’s Neck

Article on Chinese book design in China Daily, November 2011 – monochrome article

Dust Jackets Webpages – as prepared by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Chinese Graphic Design in the Twentieth Century - includes book and magazine cover design


# 1.   

I've always really liked (mainland) Chinese book covers/typography. I picked up Han Han's 《零下一度》randomly from a Shanghai bookstore in 2000 or 2001, before I knew who he was, because I liked the book cover. Lost it now, dammit.

Nicky Harman, March 18, 2012, 2:45p.m.

# 2.   

Good to know someone is on the ball!

Helen Wang, March 18, 2012, 3:53p.m.

# 3.   

Oops - comment 2 was a Proustian slip.

Helen Wang, March 18, 2012, 3:59p.m.

# 4.   

What a marvellous collection. Number 1 is actually .com I think (assemblyman-eph.blogspot.com/2010/03/chinese-book-covers.html) - at least that's the only way I could make it work. Number 2 is priceless - he's so right! Number 3 - China Daily, is interesting but downplays the achievements of Chinese typographers/graphic designers. The next one - from the V&A - is lovely. They don't make 'em like that any more... As for the last on the list. I drooled, and somehow my fingers walked to Amazon and bought it... What a great collection.

Nicky Harman, March 20, 2012, 8:22p.m.


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