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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for the ‘David Pelham’ tag


Design as virus 15: David Pelham’s Clockwork Orange


Design by David Pelham (1972). Continuing an occasional series. Pity the poor designer who has to create a new cover for Anthony Burgess’s novel when David Pelham’s Penguin cover—created in haste forty years ago—is more visible than ever. Pelham’s design is a familiar sight on these pages but it’s also an increasingly familiar sight elsewhere, […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {film}, {kubrick}, {science fiction} | 9 comments »


Weekend links 98


The Arcimboldo Effect again. An undated postcard from the image section of A Virtual Wunderkammer: Early Twentieth Century Erotica in Spain. “I took George Clinton and Bootsy Collins to the Battle Station for the first time, and they left feeling like they’d just had a close encounter,” said the bassist and music producer Bill Laswell, […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {cities}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {politics}, {science fiction}, {sculpture} | 1 comment »


Klaphek versus Ballard


left: The Hostage (1966); right: The Female Terrorist (1971). Both by Konrad Klaphek. No, I’m not suggesting that David Pelham’s paintings for the Ballard covers he designed in the 1970s are inspired by the earlier work of German artist Konrad Klaphek. But it’s tempting to think of Klaphek’s isolated objects as being intended for Ballard […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {painting}, {science fiction}, {surrealism} | 3 comments »


Weekend links 19


Peafile (2006) by Shawn Smith; plywood, ink, acrylic paint. • Surreal Friends, an exhibition of work by Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo and Kati Horna at the Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, UK. Related: The surrealist muses who roared, Leonora Carrington and other women Surrealists profiled. • Landscapes From a Dream: How the Art of David Pelham […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {comics}, {design}, {electronica}, {music}, {painting}, {politics}, {sculpture}, {surrealism}, {technology} | Comments Off


Nabokov book covers


Flowers are the sexual organs of plants, which may have been what designer David Pelham had in mind when he created this cover for the Penguin debut of Nabokov’s densely-written and erotic novel, Ada in 1970. (Butterfly orchids also feature in the text, of course.) The Russian maestro has been unavoidable lately on account of […]

Posted in {books}, {design} | 4 comments »


March of the Penguins


top left: David Pelham’s classic design (1972); top right: photography by Lionel F Williams (Eye) and SOA / Photonica (Cogs) (1996). bottom left and right: photography by Véronique Rolland (2000 & 2008). In April this year I wrote about James Pardey’s excellent site devoted to book covers from the Penguin science fiction range. I’m often […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {science fiction} | 7 comments »


Penguin science fiction


The Drought, 1968; design by Richard Hollis, photography by Dr. J Comroe. James Pardey contacted me earlier this week announcing his site devoted to Penguin Books’ science fiction covers. I posted some of my own dishevelled copies a while back and this news gives me an excuse to throw up another Ballard cover. Pardey’s site […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {science fiction} | 4 comments »


Alan Aldridge: The Man With Kaleidoscope Eyes


I’ve never been all that keen on Alan Aldridge‘s brand of psychedelic art but it’s worth noting here the (London) Design Museum retrospective which runs from 10 October to 25 January, 2009. Aldridge’s work as a designer and illustrator for Penguin Books in the Sixties impresses me more than his subsequent illustrated Beatles lyrics and […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {illustrators}, {music}, {psychedelia} | 8 comments »


A Clockwork Orange: The Complete Original Score


CBS 73059; construction by Karenlee Grant, photo by David Vine (1972). A1 Timesteps (13:50) A2 March From A Clockwork Orange (7:00) B1 Title Music From A Clockwork Orange (2:21) B2 La Gazza Ladra (5:50) B3 Theme From A Clockwork Orange (1:44) B4 Ninth Symphony: Second Movement (4:52) B5 William Tell Overture (1:17) B6 Country Lane […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {collage}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {kubrick}, {music}, {science fiction}, {sculpture}, {surrealism} | 5 comments »


The book covers archive


Previous posts about book covers or cover design. • MC Escher book covers • HPL in France • Invisible Cities: Miscellanea • La Bibliothèque de Babel • Philippe Caza covers • Moravagine book covers • In Homage to Priapus • Acid covers • Morning of the Magicians book covers • Doctor Moreau book covers • […]

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Penguin Labyrinths and the Thief’s Journal


Detail from La Havane by René Portocarrero; photo by C. Marker. This week’s book finds are a pair of titles I hadn’t come across before in these particular editions, another haul from the vast continent that is the Penguin Books back catalogue. Labyrinths I’ve had for years in a later edition (see below) but the […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {borges}, {design}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {painting}, {surrealism} | 9 comments »


Penguin designer David Pelham talks

Penguin designer David Pelham talks Great lecture about some classic book designs.

Posted in {books}, {design}, {noted} | 3 comments »


Penguin book covers


Nice collection of old covers for Penguin Books on Joe Kral’s Flickr pages. Looking over these, many of which are very familiar even though I’ve never owned them, makes me aware of how many hours of my life must have been spent in secondhand bookshops. The David Pelham cover for A Clockwork Orange has always […]

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