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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Signet Classic Shakespeare

I love the Signet Classic Shakespeare collection I have started. Every time I head to Grounds For Thought, I look to see if any more have been brought in. So far I've collected eight. Grounds always has a lot of Shakespeare stocked and deciding on a series to collect was a pretty easy task once I saw these covers illustrated by Milton Glaser.

My favorite Glaser illustration, for cover of The Tempest, reminds me of his iconic Bob Dylan illustration

Shakespeare titles are well-known and usually have a drab connotation associated with them because of forced in-school readings but these covers help you forget that. The choice to use selective color on these dominantly black and white covers is so smart. The little pieces of bright colors used catches the eye and really draws you into the illustration and causes you to want to pick up the book.

The cover illustrations are also very telling of the story behind them. The darker colors used in the Romeo and Juliet cover are just as tragic as the timeless love story of Capulet and Montague.

I regret that these covers are usually tucked away on a shelf where only their spines are seen. I think it would be great to be able to frame prints of these illustrations someday.


Anonymous said...

I love Signet Classic Shakespeare books, and also have a collection. I've never read them, but I don't think that's important.

wytchcroft said...

well i've read them and they're pretty good.

seriously though i have been in love with Signet's covers for these for over twenty years now.

you're right to drawn comparison to Glaser's pop art since the covers share the same stage as Yellow Submarine director George Dunning
and especially his unfinished film of Shakespeare's Tempest.

well, sure, you probably know that.

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