George Orwell's 1984: A Visual History


Today marks George Orwell’s 108th birthday. To celebrate, we have compiled a visual history of the publication of one of his most influential works, 1984. Though 1984 has come and gone with little in the way of Big Brother (although we suppose it depends on whom you ask), Orwell’s novel is still a key component of American education and culture. If you’ve got two hours on your hands this afternoon, wish Orwell a happy 108th by watching this 1954 BBC Television production of the novel. Otherwise, click through to see our compilation of 1984 book covers from home and abroad. But be warned: you’re about to see a million stark, staring eyes and a whole lot of domineering typography. Let us know your favorites in the comments!

First British Edition, 1949

First American Edition, dust jacket and cover, 1949

Penguin Books UK, 1951

Signet edition, 1954

Penguin UK, 1954

Argentinian edition, 1954

Penguin edition, date unknown

1959 Swedish edition, designed by Olle Eksell

17th Signet printing, 1959

First Signet Classic edition, 1961

French edition, 1969

Harcourt Brace International, 1977

Penguin, 1978

French edition, 1980

Penguin Modern Classics, date unknown

Spanish edition, 1983

Penguin UK film tie-in edition, 1984

Spanish Edition, 1984

Signet Classics, 1985

Penguin, 1989

Penguin UK, 1989

Polish edition, 1989

Swedish edition, date unknown

Signet Classics, 1990’s

Signet Classics, date unknown

Plume Centennial Edition, 2003

Penguin Readers edition, 2003

Penguin Classics, 2003

Indonesian Edition, circa 2003

Penguin Modern Classics, 2004

Penguin Readers Simplified Text, 2008

Penguin UK, 2008, design by Shepard Fairey

Spanish edition, 2008

Penguin UK Anniversary Edition, 2009

60th Anniversary edition, 2009, design by Jason Johnson

Slovakian Edition, 2009