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Franz Kafka – The Trial, 1956 Modern Library Definitive Edition cover

Contributed by Nick Sherman on Jun 12th, 2017. Artwork published in
circa 1956
.
    Franz Kafka – The Trial, 1956 Modern Library Definitive Edition cover 1
    Source: https://www.abebooks.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    The cover for this edition of Kafka’s classic novel features what appears to be Photo-Lettering Inc.’s Swiss Gothic Extra Condensed. It could also conceivably be a customized interpretation of some other condensed sans like Schmalfette Grotesk or Permanent Headline, but the proportions and weight seem to match closely with a mechanically compressed configuration of Swiss Gothic Extra Condensed (Photo-Lettering offered slightly squooshed settings among the standard options in their catalogs).

    Illustrations for the book are credited to legendary book jacket designer George Salter, but unlike previous editions it isn’t stated explicitly whether Salter also designed the cover. (Perhaps someone more knowledgeable of Salter’s work than I am could identify the hand-lettering as his.)

    Update: A promotional image for an exhibiton of George Salter’s book jackets (opening next week, no less!) shows the spine of this edition, so presumably he was indeed the designer(?)

    Franz Kafka – The Trial, 1956 Modern Library Definitive Edition cover 2
    Source: http://www.ebay.com License: All Rights Reserved.
    Franz Kafka – The Trial, 1956 Modern Library Definitive Edition cover 3
    Source: https://www.abebooks.com License: All Rights Reserved.

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