Monday, July 02, 2012

Dust Jacket Design: Hans Tisdall

About a month ago I posted the above dustjacket on Front Free Endpaper as part of a small group of 1960s jacket designs I had hitched off my own shelves here at Callum James Heights. It is identified as being by Hans Tisdall (1910-1997) who led a long and prolific career as an artist, teacher, muralist and illustrator. His work on dust jackets has had a little recognition, as the art of the book jacket itself has become more appreciated, his contribution to the hand-drafted calligraphy used on books from the fifties onwards is beginning to be understood. The typographer Michael Harvey designed a font called 'Tisdall Script" based on Tisdall's lettering and gave a talk on its development at a typographical conference in Rome in 2002. Fortunately for us, one of the attendees took photos of the presentation and posted them to Flickr, including numerous illustrations of Tisdall's book jackets designs.The slides included what I suppose must be his most well known work to book-lovers, the jackets for the Jonathan Cape 1st UK editions of Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, and Across the River and Into the Trees.

At the auction I have been whittering on about all week I bought a huge lot of maritime, sailing and naval books and among them was this amazing jacket on a book about the Spanish Armada: again credited to Tisdall. Which then made me think through some of the other jacket designs on my shelves and pull out The Storm and the Silence (below). I was surprised to discover the design is neither credited nor signed but given that it is another Jonathan Cape production and the style of it, I'd be reasonably confident in saying it was by him: unless anyone out there knows differently. In my wanderings on the Internet in search of oddments for this post I also came across a delightful painting by Tisdall for sale by John Adams Fine Art and even a very stylish fabric design from 1960 featured on Helen Hallows's blog called Pheasant Moon.


Louis XIV, "The Sun King" (Nick Jones) said...

I think it's a pretty safe bet that's Tisdall. I posted a little something on HT myself
last year.

J said...

The Hemingway jackets are exquisite. Oddly, I think I saw a Tisdall jacket myself on Friday, in a thrift shop. It was Paul Horgan's CONQUISTADORS IN NORTH AMERICA (Macmillan 1963), which I had no interest in for the content, but the jacket struck my eye. (The jacket on the U.S. edition is so bland...) Checking a copy on eBay, I think it's clearly by the same hand as the Mattingly you show here.

Stephen Coles said...

His jackets for Ivor Brown’s books published by Jonathan Cape.

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