Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Anchor Days

Around 1953, Edward Gorey went to work for Anchor Books and began designing paperback covers for reprints of classics and for academic titles used primarily by colleges. These books were produced to be affordable and the look of the books was fresh and eye-catching. Mr. Gorey was personally responsible for the design and layout of close to 200 books - many of which he also drew cover illustrations for! Gorey is quoted as stating that it was faster and easier for him to draw the type on the covers than to have it typeset and position it, and this gave the books the distinctive design quality that makes them unique. This practice began the lifelong habit of hand lettering the type in his books.

Today, many of these early works can be found very inexpensively at local bookstores that carry vintage paperbacks. I only started picking up the Anchor titles in earnest during the last few years - mainly because I needed a “Gorey Fix” and they were at hand.

To find out much more information on Gorey’s years at Anchor, go to www.goreyography.com/west/paper/paper.htm for an informative article.

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