February 18, 2014


Book covers are forever. They set the tone for our reading experience, and often endure in the mind as visual symbols of our favorite stories. Ian Fleming Publications announced today the new jacket designs for the paperback editions of the new James Bond novel, Solo. The UK version will be released on May 8th and combines the hardcover typeface with a photographic image that aligns the release with last year's 007 Contemporary Vintage Series. Fleming Publications suggests the single eye motif is reminiscent of the original For Your Eyes Only design by Chopping. To my two eyes, the design seems oddly top-heavy with too many circles stacked off-center to the iris. Perhaps it captures a contemporary look, but I wonder if it will date quickly? Those 1980s silhouette covers looked similarly slick and modern at the time, but have not aged well. The US and Canadian editions will arrive on June 3rd. Based on the hardcover design, the paperback gets an icy blue makeover. I prefer this to the UK cover, but I'm not sure it evokes "James Bond" to me. Perhaps a contemporary well-pressed Bond- or maybe a cigarette-package design? I admit that I prefer my 007 to have a vintage flair, and the covers by Chopping, Hawkey, and the geometric patterns by Amazon all set the mood for timeless adventure. Solo is set at the end of the 1960s and I wonder if the jacket captures that flavor? The original hardcover was more elegant, with negative space in the upper half and the typeface seeping out from a collective black stripe on pale yellow (comparison below). It will be fun to look back on these covers in ten years and see how they stand up. In the meantime, enjoy Solo and congratulations to Fleming Publications on the new James Bond adventure! Below: UK paperback, US/Canada paperback, US hardcover.

Recent Spy Vibe posts: Batman Valentines cardsSaturday Cartoons: Marine BoyMary QuantPatrick Macnee, Gloria Steinem and Denny O'Neil on MOD Wonder WomanWin Scott Eckert interview, Siegel and Shuster's SPYDavid McCallum: Son of BatmanJon Gilbert talks FlemingBarbarella TV seriesMeet the Beatles 50thWonderwall comes to Blu-rayBatman StripsDavid Bowie at 67Kevin Dart talks Ringo & Powerpuff GirlsSherlock ExhibitFu Manchu history panelAndy Warhol box set, Six-Million Dollar ManStriped Light NudeBuckminster FullerDylan at NewportJane and SergeThe Goldfinger VariationsMod Tales InterviewPete SeegerKraftwerk returns to US, Beatles BBC on Fresh Air, Steranko S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist Editions, David Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, Atomic ArtModern Architecture LPJulius ShulmanShane Glines Batman, The Prisoner and Captain ScarletDiego Fortunato and Verner Panton, Saturday Morning CartoonsAssassination Bureau on DVD, new Young Bond series, new Hercule Poirot novel, Early Beatles image archive, Julie NewmarErno GoldfingerHitchcock tribute.

Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Ian Fleming LettersErno Goldfinger, Ian Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book covers, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, Spy Vibe's Ian Fleming image archive.

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