What Our Book Covers Reveal About Us

Whether you get all judgy about book covers or not, recently we’ve been wondering if book covers alone are enough to tell us something deeper about a culture. Then we discovered (and instantly began drooling over) some 1,000 vintage dust jackets and bindings in The Book Cover in the Weimar Republic (Taschen), a visually stunning catalogue of Berlin’s nascent book art culture between the world wars.

From illustrated works to typographic designs, and Art Deco to proto-modernist styles, the book is a library of eye-catching covers from some 250 Berlin-based publishers. Together, they show how book cover design from 1919–1933 in Berlin was influenced by the important movements of the period—Expressionism, Realism, New Objectivity, Constructivism, and photography—and retell how this young German republic was what the book’s editor Jürgen Holstein calls “a testing ground for modernity” until the second world war cruelly ended it all.

Read the rest at AIGA’s Eye on Design

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