It must be my technical illustration training but there's something compelling about geometrical constructions so I snapped up this book on Map Projections. I don't claim to understand them but they are kind of beautiful.
It's around this time of year that my wife charges me with the task of clearing all the dead stuff out of the greenhouse. There's plenty of it. Stuff that, over the course of the growing season, has been snipped or knocked off, or has just dropped as it ends it's natural life. Withered, shriveled and decaying, it's all so much more interesting than when it was alive and thriving.
I found a couple of curious Penguins at the weekend. In a box with other less interestingly covered de Beauvoirs, I thought they're both top-notch but, from a brand point of view, beg questions. First off, they were both published in 1967 and yet they're so different (a time of uncertainty at the publishers?).
Although both have Marber-grid factors, both are departures: "Memoirs..." has lost horizontal lines, the "long" title alternative positioning and, obviously, uses caps. "She Came..." on the other hand is a much more dramatic shift in direction: a brand new position for the enlarged and newly coloured type, and a bird that's grown considerably. Interesting pricing too.
I guess "Memoirs..." could be a straight or near-straight re-print of the first-time-for-Penguin 1963 edition, while "She Came..." (de Beauvoir's first novel) was published by Penguin for the first time just a year earlier in '66. I suppose that all kind of makes sense. But still, an opportunity to release both with similar covers must have been considered.
Differences apart, they're still both excellent covers but "She Came..." is, to my eyes, a stonker! That beautiful cover illustration is by the enigmatic Giannetto Coppola. Can't find anything about the man and from what other covers I can find, this is, by his own standards, an exceptional piece of work. Very stylish, very "sixty's".
Incidentally, the other cover is by Penguin stalwart Alan Spain.
The map that folded out of the book on aerial photography was extremely lovely and it re-kindled a dormant interest. It's been a while since Ace Jet's seen much map-action but I remembered this 1966 German atlas of Europe I'd picked up a little while back. Although it's unexceptional on the outside, inside it's beauty is very much in the detail: scrutinizing small sections reveals fascinating multi-level cartography and printing; in fact it's when your nose is practically touching the french-folded pages that you get a great sense of the print process involved.