Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Soviet Book Jackets

Krasnoznam, Balt Flot (Red Banner Baltic Fleet).

There are 656 “Russian bookjackets, 1917-1942” digitized on the site the New York Public Library. So though it may look like I got carried away, it was really with great difficulty that I limited myself to the selection here.

While going through these, I was struck by how the cover designers did not confine themselves to the vertical rectangle we see when a book is closed in front of us. Instead, the entire horizontal expanse of the fully unfolded jacket was utilized as designable space. I’m not sure why this was, but perhaps it had to do with the absence of the capitalist mentality that considers every available square inch of printable surface as an opportunity to “sell.”

The entire collection is presented in a “wide screen” format, as opposed to the American and European dust jackets, which are displayed with a squarer aspect ratio of cover-plus-flap or a vertical format of the front cover alone. That is a collection of over 2,000. Something to look forward to …

Bezymenskii, Stikhi (Poems), 1934.

Sel'vinskii, Pushtorg (Fur-Trade), 1931.

Kuznetsov, Tsirk (Circus), 1931.

Chukovskii, Skazki (Fairy-Tales), 1935.

Sovetskoe iskusstvo za 15 let (Soviet Art over 15 Years), 1933.

Boitsy pervogo prizyva (Soldiers of the First Call).

Skazki Severnogo kraia (Fairy-Tales of the Northern Region), 1934.

Sobolev, Kapital'nyi remont (Major Repairs), 1933.

Dos Passos, Tri soldata (Three Soldiers), 1934.

Voenlety, Rasskazy o voenno-vozdushnom flote (Military Pilots, Stories about Air Force.), 1933.

Blagoi, Tri veka (Three Centuries), 1933.

Boitsy pervogo prizyva (Soldiers of the First Call).

Sto let Aleksandrinskomu teatru (A Hundred Years of the Aleksandrinskii Theater), 1932.

Lidin, Idut korabli (Ships are Sailing), 1928.

Gornaia promyshlennost' (Mining Industry), 1932.

Koster (A Campfire), 1934.

Chetyre pokoleniia, Kniga o Narvskoi Zastave (Four generations, A Book about the Narva Gate) 1933.

Slavin, Interventsiia (The Intervention), 1933.

Belyayev, Pryzhok v nichto (Jump Into Nowhere), 1932.

Lapin, Podvig (A Heroic Exploit), 1934.

Permitin, Kogti (Claws), 1932.

Chekhov, Vishnevyi sad (Cherry Orchard), 1933-35.

Shternberg, Giliaki (Giliaks), 1933.

Maiakovskii, Groznyi smekh (A Menacing Laugh) 1932.

Panferov, Bruski, t.2 (Bruski, Vol.2) 1933.

Bibineshvili, Kamiu (Kamiu), 1934.

1 comment:

  1. wow wow wow! i love this so much :) Thanks for sharing. I will link you on my weekly links.


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