The grid The book jack­ets of Ed­ward Baw­den

The cel­e­brated book jacket de­signs of English artist Ed­ward Baw­den cap­ture an era with time­less hu­mour

The Observer - The New Review - - Agenda -

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

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