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A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore (Penguin, 2019)

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Mar 8th, 2020. Artwork published in
June 2019
A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore (Penguin, 2019) 1
Source: Penguin Books. License: All Rights Reserved.

Via “The 78 Best Book Covers of 2019, As Chosen By Designers”, presented by Emily Temple on Literary Hub. Coralie Bickford-Smith is full of praise:

A perfect example of text not having to be giant to stand out. A lot of depth and texture to this cover that keeps me going back to take another look.

The cover design is by Holly Ovenden. It was developed with art direction by John Hamilton, who sadly passed away in 2019, at the age of 55. The typeface that Ovenden picked is FF Pitu, set in a band, partly in all caps, with ample letterspacing. Designed by Łukasz Dziedzic, the “mondo bodacious” (Hrant Papazian) italic was among Typographica’s Favorite Typefaces of 2008. To my surprise, it hasn’t seen a lot of use. Dziedzic himself was more realistic, stating he has “absolutely no clue what Pitu is useful for.” With its spikey serifs and terminals echoing the thorny branches of the illustration, it certainly is an effective choice for Helen Dunmore’s gothic novel about a forbidden liaison.

A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore (Penguin, 2019) 2
Source: Holly Ovenden. License: All Rights Reserved.


  • FF Pitu




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