The grid The book jackets of Edward Bawden
The celebrated book jacket designs of English artist Edward Bawden capture an era with timeless humour
During his wide-ranging career English artist Edward Bawden (1903-1989) worked as a war artist, created tube station murals, and even designed the masthead used by the Observer from 1939-1989. Now his book cover designs are being celebrated in a new volume entitled Are You Sitting Comfortably? The Book Jackets of Edward Bawden (Mainstone Press, £35).
Bawden used linocuts to create the covers of Ambrose Heath’s Good Food series, published in the 1930s, which, says James Russell, the book’s co-writer, “were not widely used at the time. They give the jackets a distinctive look that’s also down to earth”.
With their wobbly jellies and glum fish, these jackets also reveal “a sense of humour that transcends time”, says Russell. “Bawden could not stop himself from making jokes and playing. This found its way into everything he did.” Hannah Valentine