Freedom is Slavery: 1984 by Gray138, then me

The Book Design Review recently posted up Jon Gray‘s new Australian Penguin UK cover for 1984. Like Mr Sullivan, it’s probably my favorite to date. Though I have to say this isn’t saying much since I dislike most every treatment out there. I’ve always felt that any overt design for this title was too much, and the closest thing to the mark that I’ve seen are the graphics done for the original 1955 movie. Authoritarian, utilitarian, and ultimately, a bit rude. In an effort to put my money where my mouth is, I’ve taken a quick stab at what I’d like to see on the shelves, (see below).


Director Edmond O’Brien, on set.

Jon Gray’s cover for an unknown Australian publisher Penguin UK.

My sketch. (Note that I worked on top of one of Darren Haggar‘s excellent photos completely without his permission.)

(Thanks to Alan Trotter for letting me know that I was way off on the publisher info.)

August 10th, 2009 by Pieratt

8 Responses to “Freedom is Slavery: 1984 by Gray138, then me”

  1. What I love about the red cover is the concept behind not showing Orewell’s name, or the book’s title. Image how difficult that would be to sell in. The imagery on the red cover is also very specific and descriptive of the content. Incinerator tubes defined the censorship found in 1984. It’s a great cover.

  2. Joseph says:

    The first thing that jumped to mind, Ben, was the Keep Calm Carry On poster ( and the “Anything You Say…” poster that David Byrne snapped a few months back:

  3. Joseph says:

    And thanks to Alan from me too for pointing out that error of attribution.

  4. Thanks for reminding me of the 1955 movie. I’ve only seen the one directed by Michael Radford (released in 1984, with John Hurt as Winston Smith).

  5. [...] this excellent edition of Nineteen Eighty-Four has been featured on the finer book cover design [...]

  6. gray318 says:

    I urge you all to look at the link above ‘Victory Gin all round’
    It takes a clever copywriter and a brave editor to make these things happen.
    I just made the pictures.

  7. Alan says:

    gray318: That is very kind of you, and I completely concur on the editorial courage. But you do make such very very nice pictures.

Leave a Reply