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James Joyce series (Vintage, 2013)

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Dec 16th, 2013. Artwork published in .
James Joyce series (Vintage, 2013) 1
Source: Peter Mendelsund. License: All Rights Reserved.

Ulysses has been included in the Best Book Covers of 2013 by the New York Times.

James Joyce series (Vintage, 2013) 2
Source: Peter Mendelsund. License: All Rights Reserved.
James Joyce series (Vintage, 2013) 3
Source: Peter Mendelsund. License: All Rights Reserved.


  • Poetica




Artwork location

4 Comments on “James Joyce series (Vintage, 2013)”

  1. Do you know what the handwriting font is?

  2. I’m pretty sure that it is not a font, but actual handwriting.

  3. Lucas Czarnecki says:
    Nov 18th, 2021 3:49 pm

    I’d love to see more written here about this. Here’s something:

    (Also, its Vintage Classics not Vintage Books, so far as I can tell.)

    Published in 2013, this series of covers by Peter Mendelsund for a collection of Joyce’s best literature uses simple, solid colors with Poetica by Adobe Type in off white with thick, handwritten additions over top.

    The contrast between Poetica’s flowing yet refined curves and the abrupt black markings reflect both sides of Joyce’s enigmatic writing, mixing the deeply constructed and referential with the eminently human and flawed. The cover for Ulysses was included in the Best Book Covers of 2013 by the New York Times; its handwritten “YES” brilliantly alludes to the character Molly Bloom’s closing soliloquy:

    …and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

  4. Thanks, Lucas, that’s much appreciated! This post dates from the early days of Fonts In Use, when posts weren’t always accompanied by longer commentary. But I agree, this book series deserves a proper description.

    For the question of the publisher: You’re probably right. I assumed that Vintage Books was an imprint for Knopf’s paperbacks, and Vintage Classics a subseries. Anyway, they all belong to Penguin Random House now. It’s likely that the Joyce series was published in the Vintage Classics series/imprint.

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