Shop Indie Bookstores

Thursday, May 03, 2007

French Books

I own a fair number of books, but very few of them are written in French. My French is, as they say, merde.

I love how these books from imprint 10/18 look (click on the thumbs for bigger images), and it might be because of the rigid type guidelines. It's not just these: Gallimard's layout is even more consistent, with placement of the title and author pretty much always in the same place. What do you think: are all of these designs "incomplete" because the type doesn't play a big role, or is it liberating not to have to make type choices?


theoreticalk said...

Nah, I think the designs are wonderful. Since the type doesn't play a big role, I think that it leads your thought more naturally to how the photo/graphic relates to the story.

Interesting dynamic... I like these covers quite a bit.

Thomas said...

I work as a bookseller in an independent French bookstore in Montreal. From a design perspective, the 10/18 collection by U.G.E. has always been a favourite of mine too, along with the Folio collection by Gallimard. French publishing revolves a lot around the idea of the books of a given publisher being grouped together into different 'collections'. It's like an English publisher having different imprints, except that the cover designs of a French collection are usually a lot more consistent, often rigidly so.

Having discovered your blog via
"">your contribution to Publishers Weekly
and read this post, I've been inspired to launch my own book design blog. I'm planning to focus mostly on French and British book design, as well as comparisons of French, British and American covers of the same book.

As I go along I'll be covering many of the other major and lesser-known collections in French publishing.


Anonymous said...

Gallimard has a wonderful collection called "L'imaginaire"
Every book as a very specific design as well as a very simple one.

Try Georges Perec's "La disparition" a book written with no letter e! It's just beautiful.

A french man who loves your blog.