So this excellent edition of Nineteen Eighty-Four has been featured on the finer book cover design blogs recently.

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, gray318 design

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, design by gray318

Unfortunately, what with the decline of proper journalism and whatnot, nobody thought to ask the really important question here: What renegade genius working an admittedly low-level job in the publisher’s marketing department suggested keeping the title off the cover?

Last year I was a copywriter at Penguin and wrote a lot of blurbs for the Classics lists. So you get used very quickly to seeing your words on books by some of the greatest writers who ever lived. The job was a joy from start to end and there’s not a lack of things it was a thrill to be able to work on.

But getting to use the iconic language of Orwell’s classic like this, and having the editor take the idea to gray318 (who is, you may know, in a league of his own) and have him come up with this absolutely perfect design across front, back and spine (and throw in a couple of endpapers that would have made great Orwell jackets in their own right), was perhaps the best of a lot of gratifying moments.

Here’s the full design:

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, gray318 design

Inside front cover of Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, gray318 design

Inside front cover

Inside back cover of Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, gray318 design

Inside back cover

So thank you Jon Gray, thank you Penguin and thank you George Orwell. You made me a very happy man.

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty-Four · George Orwell · 9780141191201 · at the Book Depository · at Amazon.co.uk