John Gall: Nabokov Covers

Last night I attended AIGA’s My Dog and Pony IV, where I had the opportunity to see four different designers in varying disciplines pitch a project. One of them was John Gall, of Vintage and Anchor Books. who focused on the cover redesigns for the works of Vladimir Nabokov. I’m not sure how I missed these when they were first unveiled to the public back in 2009, but I’m glad I had the chance to get a glimpse into the process.

In the end, the design was inspired by the author himself, who had a passion for butterfly collecting. Each book features a shadow box, much like one you would use to display insect specimens, that illustrates the book’s title using paper. A series of esteemed designers were commissioned to each illustrate each cover to add another level of interest to the series.

A few favorites are below, but you can see the entire collection right here.

Peter Mendelsund

John Gall

Marian Bantjes


Courtney is the founder of Design Work Life and Seamless Creative, a small design studio she runs with her husband Brian. She now splits her time between developing brand identities for small businesses and soaking up (and passing along) as much inspiration as she possibly can.

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