Collection “Écrivains de Toujours”, Éditions du Seuil
“Écrivains de Toujours” is a French paperback series devoted to classical and contemporary writers. It was launched in 1951 by Éditions du Seuil as the first in their Microcosme Collections (followed by “Petite Planète” in 1953). Each volume of the Microcosme paperbacks came in the same 18×11.5 format, and invariably consisted of 192 pages and 100 images. Conceived by Jean Bardet and Paul Flamand, “Écrivains de Toujours” was initially directed by Francis Jeanson, and continued by Monique Nathan and Denis Roche. Until 1981, a total of 106 volumes were published.
This post shows examples that follow two basic templates for the cover design. Each of them features a quintessential French roman from the 20th century. The first covers have Robert Girard’s Astrée (Deberny & Peignot, 1923), used in roman caps for the author’s name with italics for “par lui-même”, and complemented by reversed all-caps Simplex étroit, the condensed style of Olive’s adaptation of Berthold-Grotesk. The later template replaces Astrée with Vendôme (Fonderie Olive, 1951), designed by François Ganeau with the help of Roger Excoffon. More specifically, the author’s name uses Vendôme noir, the heaviest weight released in 1953, together with the gras italique, or bold italic. The smaller text is again set in reversed all-caps Simplex, this time from the regular-wide bold weight.
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