Contrary to the popular saying “never judge a book by its cover” a lot of people will pick their next read based on the design on the front. The popular great American novel The Great Gatsby has had more than 100 different cover designs in its lifetime and has been translated into 42 different languages.
At Paperblanks we love books and also the history behind them, so in anticipation of the release of the new The Great Gatsby movie we looked at the many previous editions of this novel and picked our top 5 favourite covers. Which ones are your favourite?
1. The First Edition Cover (Charles Scribner’s Sonsin, 1925)
Artist, Francis Cugat received the commission for the Fitzgerald dust jacket in 1924, while the book was still unfinished. The author liked the painting that Cugat proposed and told his publisher, “don’t give anyone that jacket you’re saving for me. I’ve written it into the book.” Cugat was paid 100$ for the gouache sketch he called “Celestial Eyes.”
The Publisher Charles Scribner, via Forbes website, said that it represented “a most unusual, in my view, unique form of ‘collaboration’ between author and jacket artist.” Commonly, “the artist… lifts, as it were, his image from a page of the book. In this instance, however, the artist’s image preceded the finished manuscript and Fitzgerald actually maintained that he had ‘written it into’ his book.” In the same article, he also said that he considered the cover as “an illuminated manuscript from the 20th century.” You can read the full article on the Forbes website.
2. The Penguin “Modern Classics” 2000 Cover (Penguin Books, 2000)
3. Penguin 2010 Edition Cover (Penguin Books, 2010)
4. The Penguin “Modern Classics” 1971 Cover (Penguin Modern Classics, 1971)
5. The 1993 Wordsworth Classics Cover
Paperblanks’ Great Gatsby Journal
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