Fill in the Joke: Judging Book Covers


John Gall, art director for Vintage International, was gifted the “most daunting project of [his] entire life”: redesigning all 21 book covers in the Vladimir Nabokov literary canon. Not an easy task. Gall rounded up an ace group of graphic designers to contribute to the project, from Pentagram partner Michael Beirut to Knopf heavy hitters Chip Kidd and Barbara de Wilde.

Because Nabokov was an avid butterfly collector, Gall assigned a design brief that proposed all the covers should resemble specimen boxes. Vintage and Anchor Books are currently hosting a giveaway of these art-meets-literature re-imaginings; we’ve listed our five favorites after the jump.

Glory / Design by Martin Venezky

Pnin / Design by Carin Goldberg

Speak, Memory / Design by Michael Bierut

Pale Fire / Design by Stephen Doyle

Ada, or Ardor / Design by Chip Kidd

Visit the Vintage Books blog to vote; Pale Fire is currently in the lead. Read more about Gall’s project on Design Observer.