Wednesday Cover Story: From advertising to publishing

Horror of horrors, I had to endure the journey home last week with no book to read, and there’s only so many times I can play solitare on my phone, you know. To add to my chagrin, the cover to the book being read by the woman opposite me was familiar in a niggling way that was sure to drive me potty. Thankfully my tired brain managed to put two and two together before I felt the need to yank the book out of her hands for closer inspection. The slinky but rather hawk-faced lady on the cover of Georgette Heyer’s The Unfinished Clue was none other than a lady who gazes snootily at me in my kitchen every day. She features in a poster I have hanging on the wall, of a 1935 gin advert, pictured below.

Side-stepping the question you may be asking (retro gin art?), it reminded me of one of our most successful cover designs of recent years – James Anderson’s The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy, which I believe was from a contemporary cigarette advert and great bit of artwork which immediately grounds you in a certain time and place. Bosh, job done.

Coincidences being what they are, when I heard that there was currently a competition running for the most iconic billboards of the past century, I nipped over to see what was what: check out the Outdoor Hall of Fame. Obvious early contenders include General Kitchener bristling his moustache, and Guiness Gives You Strength, all the way through to the 118 Men of today. Which set me thinking, in thirty or forty years time, will the publishers of the day be trawling through images like the Wonderbra ‘Hello Boys’ advert looking for that perfect evocative image? Hmmm, lets hope not.

Lesley-Anne Crooks, Sales & Digital Manager

Want to flag up a cover you love or hate for our Wednesday Cover Story? Write to with your thoughts

Recommend This:

One thought on “Wednesday Cover Story: From advertising to publishing”

  1. This highlights the fact that effectively book covers are really the visual adverts for the book, so its not surprising that advertising and book cover images are entwined. Great images have the power to sell, regardless of the product in question.

Leave a Reply