Thomas Watson Ball design

Thomas Watson Ball design

These things are just wonderful.

Nowadays stamping on cases has declined to the point where you’d be fired if you did something like this — or like the many examples shown in Richard Minsky’s blog, The Art of American Book Covers. Nowadays about as elaborate as it goes is to duplicate the jacket spine type and use that as a spine die. Look at the amount of foil being used here, and the number of colors — four or five I guess— you just couldn’t buy such variety today. The cloth would tend to be that tight, smooth book cloth which isn’t made any more: even if you could get the budget, you wouldn’t be able to buy a cloth able to take the detail called for in many of these designs.

I always assumed that the jacket had taken the place of this sort of elaborate cover stamping, but it seems that’s not so. Many of Mr Minsky’s examples have a jacket too!simon-dale-dj-800