The Art of the Book Cover in New Zealand
Hamish Thompson Random House $40
Oh my, what a gorgeous, gorgeous book. I have just lost the morning reading it from cover to cover and delighting in the hundreds of illustrations of book covers of New Zealand titles from the 1940’s through to the present.
Hamish Thompson is a Wellington-based graphic designer whose first book, Paste Up, was a study of the New Zealand poster and shortlisted for the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2004.
In his new book he again celebrates the achievement of New Zealand graphic design turning his attention this time to the book cover. Let me suggest at this early stage that I will not be surprised at all if it features in the Montana NZ Book Awards shortlists as it is an absolute gem.
After Greg O’Brien’s thoughtful foreword Thompson gives an illuminating overview of the history of book design in the 20th century before moving on to the main body of the book which focuses on the work of 36 individual artists, all beautifully illustrated with full colour covers.
My congratulations to the author and publisher on a stunning piece of publishing.
How I wish I could be at the presentation event in Wellington next Wednesday. Details of the event are below, do be sure to attend if you are in Wellington, it sounds like a great evening is in store.
Ever judged a book by its cover?
Hosted by Noel Murphy, NZ Book Council
Presented by Nicola Legat from Random House Publishers NZ
When: Wednesday, 12 September 2007, 6–7.30pm
Where: Ground Floor Theatrette (20 Customhouse Quay, BP House, Wellington)