An independent archive of typography.
to participate.

Topics

Formats

Typefaces

Big Sur by Jack Kerouac, first edition

Contributed by Nick Sherman on Feb 4th, 2014. Artwork published in .
    Big Sur by Jack Kerouac, first edition 1
    Source: http://www.ebay.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    The first edition of Jack Kerouac’s Big Sur features a playfully bouncy jacket design by Janet Halverson. The large condensed type is based on a face that originated at the Wagner foundry in the early 1900s, but was adopted and released with slight design modifications under a variety of names from many different foundries (and, eventually, phototype services). The most commonly known name for this face in the US was probably Aurora, but the version used here – with a lower waist and slightly curved terminal on the leg of the R – appears to be Haas’ Inserat-Grotesk (see this specimen, courtesy of Peter Glaab).

    Most other cuts of this typeface feature a high-waisted R with a leg that either sticks straight out at a diagonal or curves at the top and points straight down without a curve in the terminal . Luc Devroye has a concise but incomplete summary of different versions of this face, listed with their corresponding names from different foundries. As far as I know, there is not a digital version that features the curve-legged R as used on this book jacket.

    The italic fat face used on the cover has abrupt bracketing similar to ATF’s Ultra Bodoni, but also features swashes and ball terminals similar to Nebiolo’s Normandia. I have not been able to identify this particular face though.

    The body, inner flaps, and back cover of the book are set in Caledonia.

    Facsimiles of this jacket are available for sale from the aptly named Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC.

    Big Sur by Jack Kerouac, first edition 2
    Source: http://www.ebay.com License: All Rights Reserved.
    Big Sur by Jack Kerouac, first edition 3
    Source: http://www.ebay.com License: All Rights Reserved.
    Big Sur by Jack Kerouac, first edition 4
    Source: http://www.ebay.com License: All Rights Reserved.
    Big Sur by Jack Kerouac, first edition 5
    Source: http://www.liveauctioneers.com License: All Rights Reserved.
    Big Sur by Jack Kerouac, first edition 6
    Source: http://www.ebay.com License: All Rights Reserved.
    Big Sur by Jack Kerouac, first edition 7
    Source: http://www.facsimiledustjackets.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Typefaces

    • unidentified typeface
    • Neue Aurora
    • Caledonia

    Formats

    Topics

    Designers/Agencies

    Artwork location

    Post a comment