Vintage ‘On the Road’ Covers From Around the World


As we wait in trepidation for the film version of On the Road and gently bemoan the news that e-books now outsell paper books, we’ve been thinking about all the many iterations of cover art that have graced Kerouac’s world-changing novel, from the impressionistic to the flat out ugly, from the sexed-up to the somewhat insensitive (a whiskey bottle for someone who died of cirrhosis? Really, now). We’ve already given you a roundup of vintage Lolita covers from home and abroad, so we thought it might be nice to take a look at the vintage covers of On the Road, a book that is — design-wise at least — diametrically opposed to Nabokov’s classic. Think men, cars and broken down diner images, as opposed to the flowers and girlish knees of the Lolita art. Click through to see our gallery of vintage American and foreign covers, and don’t forget to check out Kerouac’s own idea for what his book cover should look like — it seems pretty thematially on par with the rest.

First edition, Viking 1957

Andre Deutsch (UK), 1958

Penguin, 1972

Argentina, 1959

Signet, 1958

Russia, 2001

Czechoslovakia, 1980

The Netherlands, 1988

East Germany, 1978

Hungary, 1983

Signet, 1968

Penguin UK, 1980

Czech Republic, 1997

Penguin UK, 1989

Russia, 1995

Spain, 1983

Yugoslavia, 1988

Portugal, 1960

Poland, 1993

Penguin, 1990

Spain, 1989

Sweden, 1965

Sweden, 1976

China, 2001

France, 1987

Germany, 1998

Greece, 1981

Portugal, 1998

Japan, 1983

Holland, 1978