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The best of these covers do however show that even minimalistic covers can do the job. My favourites being YOLT, CR, TB – and despite noting above the lack of the element of "danger" to some of these covers, TSWLM.
As was said, it just looks like some of them weren't finished yet.
I don't know if they're my favourite covers, but I love the high contrast and pop of colour with the 007 logo. Very very happy to have a full set of these, and prefer them to these new covers.
Those are the ones I have too, full set of the Bond stories. They’re a nice minimalist design for the most part, sometimes less is more; I prefer this over something overly busy in presentation.
I'm with @mtm here. Not a big fan of those b/w ones. A b/w (and red) scheme is interesting, but geometric shapes alone doesn't do much for me.
I'm in the same camp as you. Plus, the 007 on these new covers looks ridiculously large. There's also no mention of James Bond whatsoever on the cover which seems an odd marketing strategy. It's certainly a long way from the classic Pan paperback covers of the 1960s where "James Bond" appeared in broad black text at the top of the cover:
I can see what they were trying to do with the 007 logo, as you don't see that logo being the biggest bit of type on any cover...but there's also a reason for that. The 007 should be a supporting element of a design, much as it's used in the film posters, and not be the dominant one that even shrinks the title of the damn book.
The covers for L&LD, GF and OHMSS are particularly horrendous, above the rest. No cover for L&LD should be without at least a skull, but even the flames fail to conjure up images of voodoo or the macabre, which is an instant fail. The GF cover is just a literal gold background with a dull texture to it, and that's as boring as it gets. The OHMSS cover is perhaps most bizarre of all, as it just features what looks like a grenade going off in the snow, causing a snowplosion if you will, and if my eyes don't deceive me, there's a bit of blood splatter shooting out the left side of the snow blast, which makes no sense to me. Not sure if the cover is depicting Bond falling hard in the snow, causing him to get bloodied up, but even if he did blood wouldn't shoot out of him like he's been shot with a gun. Truly bizarre!
I always hang my head seeing these kinds of designs knowing what I and other artists could pull off given the carte blanche. Nobody wants to add those things to their bookshelf.
These book covers were really I'm not a fan of, these covers made the Michael Gillette covers looked great in comparison (and that's saying something as I'm not also a fan of those covers too).
My favorite Fleming Book Covers so far:
This one is one of my favorite Fleming Book Covers, it's a shame, this cover didn't continued for the other Bond books.
I also liked these:
Yes, I really love them so much; it's very "real art"!
I hope they continue doing those covers for the rest of the Fleming novels.
Edit: Oh, it's called, The Vintage Classics!
I feel like most people know that 007 is Bond. Look at the movie posters for NTTD and SF: 007 logos so huge they don't fit on the things.
I don't think the 007 looks too big here at all; it's the key design device, it looks great.
Although the artist is very skilled, I find these ones quite naff. Filled full of stuff, various characters, dozens of different fonts, different graphic devices; they can't even decide to stick with the horizontal band device or not... they're neither retro nor modern and so over-colourful they're like kids' books. Way too garish and OTT and tasteless, not even in a knowing way. Look at that hideous font on Moonraker- and a drop shadow. Ugh.
I prefer my Bonds to have more style. The Gilette ones were lovely (perhaps leaning on the psychedelic a bit too much for a 50s hero, but that's a nitpick), and I think these new IFP editions are a great addition.
These Vintage Classics editions have gorgeous typography and palettes, I'm less keen on the illustrations as they look a bit too cartoony for me: I prefer not to see faces, especially if they look like comic book characters.
I really like the skilful illustration work on the 2008 books, and they do feel quite Bondian. But there's no doubt too much going on here, with the placement of "007 – a James Bond novel" and "Ian Fleming" being the only coherent elements. Owning a couple of these myself, I also can't say I approve of the font choice for the typesetting either.
Wouldn't surprise me if that was the case!
Just recently, I donated a pan copy of CR, because I had two. So there is now one more out in the wild, looking for a good home.
As 70th anniversary covers they're extremely underwhelming. Doesn't look like IFP wants to celebrate and honour their 70 year history.
How would they honour their legacy in a set of book covers?
I mean, the regular thriller cover these days is a silhouetted man or woman against a dramatic backdrop. I call it the "Lee Child effect", because every damn Jack Reacher book cover is just that!
I'm more partial to covers that have a painted effect/aesthetic to them, as I feel that suits Bond's stories. There's so much you can do with these covers, because each story has so much in them to pull visual elements from to make each book stand out from the rest. Anyone that just makes a gold cover for GF, without making any note of the fascinating figure of Oddjob or the haunting visual of a painted woman, has made an unsatisfactory effort. The voodoo imagery of L&LD, the elegance and tension of CR, the exotic danger of YOLT and the like give so much more room for astounding and unique cover designs than what we see here. If it wasn't meant to be a celebration of an anniversary, fine, but if this is what is supposed to mark a big milestone for Fleming's work, they fell really short.
Of course, this crowd has already had their preferred choices for Fleming's work, in covers they love and had them for a long time. What I worry about are those who have yet to discover the books who will pick these up thinking they represent the genuine article, without realizing that not only do the covers sell the work short, but the work itself has been censored by people who don't respect the legacy of Fleming and the times in which he wrote. All of his work, whether positive and impressive or crude and negative, should remain as it was, as it teaches us of what that the time and style was like during the historical period in which Fleming was writing. If you take things out, you remove what made that work what it was during its time, and don't give us anything to be challenged by or learn from as more contemporary readers and thinkers. In doing so, it does nobody any good.
There’s a different thread for discussing the edits: this is about the covers.