Friday, January 11, 2008

New Flickr Set

I'm getting the hang of this flickr lark now. This is my second Flickr set, this time based around my ever growing collection of Gollancz yellow-jacketed SF. I would dearly love to do some more in-depth work on Gollancz's SF output but have been in touch with the company as best I can to ask if there might be an archive or library of file-copies or the like anywhere but as yet, no response.

What we know so far is that Victor Gollancz himself had a pathological aversion to 'picture' jackets - this being at the time when most jackets were simply typographical and 'picture' jackets were only just in their infancy. He hired, as a consultant and designer, Stanley Morison, the designer of the now ubiquitous Times New Roman font. It seems, however, that it was Victor Gollancz himself who decided on the yellow, not only as a colour which can't go unnoticed but also because in France and Italy there was already a tradition of identifying yellow with a cheap novel. Morison, it would appear was responsible for the (at the time) wild typography and for the little pointing hand which often appeared at the bottom right of many early Gollancz covers entreating the reader to turn the cover. It is unlikely that Morison ever worked on any of Gollancz's SF list as they came a little later. Also, of note is that the paper Gollancz sourced for the early yellow jackets was particularly valued for the fact that it wouldn't fade and, I am happy to report that even 40-50 years later... it hasn't... it does sometimes go a brown on the spine from handling but one of the nice things about collecting these is that they can still be found in VIVID condition from time to time.

PS. Thank you to those who enquired after my health... I'm on the mend. Enough to be able to say that I'm resuming the New Year's resolution to keep a decent blog discipline going.

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