Alias Grace

Cover stories for this year’s Booker Prize

Only four of the six Booker nominations credit the designer on the inner cover. Well, at least it’s better than a poke in the eye.

Book jacket design has done an about turn in the past ten years. But it is obviously not yet a matter of course to credit the designer, which is surprising as the jacket is often the selling point.

The guilty parties are Picador, which failed to list its art director Fiona Carpenter for Graham Swift’s Last Orders, and Faber and Faber, which ignored Pentagram, designer of Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance. Heinemann, too, was obviously not plugged in – we were informed that art director John Hamilton was the designer where Button Design is credited on the jacket.

Top marks go to Pentagram for Mistry’s intriguing and subtle cover. The others are just a tad obvious, a tad orange (Atwood and Mackay) or a tad undescriptive.

The big decision on the books’ literary merits will be made on 29 October.

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