Nicoloas Baeujouan’s latest endeavour - a collection of minimalistre-designed classic book covers is an intriguing though not an original idea; the republishing of books with new jackets is common practice with classics. Penguin are the masters of this particular type of re-branding. Their English Library collection and Classics Deluxe editions are indescribably gorgeous.
I can’t help but notice that there is only one female author’s work in Beaujouan’s
collection. Where’s J.K.Rowling, Margaret Atwood and Judith Merril? But I
This collection is unapologetically minimalist. Baeujouan attempts to whittle these
novels down to the barest of bare elements, which in some way the aforementioned
Penguin English Library collection does, though Penguin’s representations are
more akin to symbolism than synopsis.
Bearing that in mind, some of the synopses are a little too obscure of my taste. The cover for Orwell’s 1984 misses the mark, in my opinion. Making the characters the same colour would have conveyed a more powerful message; more Nuremburg rallies than Pacman. The covers for I Am Legend and I Robot convey their messages much better in my opinion. Sadly, Beaujouan then veers back into the excessively abstract to the point of being unimaginative with the covers for Adams and Stoker.
Overall I am underwhelmed with these over-stylised images. Whilst the fruits of Beaujouan's labours are engaging, the overall result conveys more passion than insight.