The Illustrated Dust Jacket, 1920-1970

Martin Salisbury

A deep dive into the history of the illustrated book jacket, tracing its development across the twentieth century, reflecting some of the most iconic designs of the era.

In the modern era, the “beautiful book,” an art object in its own right, has become the key to the ongoing attraction of print publishing as physical books continue to distinguish themselves from the screen.

Author Martin Salisbury traces the evolution of the book jacket from its functional origins as a plain dust protector for expensively bound books to its elaboration as an artistic device to catch the eye of browsing book buyers. The increasing awareness of the jacket’s potential to serve as a marketing tool across various areas of the publishing world—from literary fiction to academic titles, and children’s books—meant a proliferation of illustrative treatments. The book jackets reproduced here reflect the changing visual styles and motifs of the passing century, beginning with the Art Deco period and continuing through Modernism, the playful Thirties, the pre- and postwar Neo-Romantics, the new consumerism and realist subject matter of the Fifties, and the Pop Art of the Sixties.

Featuring talent from the US and UK, Cover Up: The Illustrated Book Jacket explores the pictorial dust jacket through a selection of more than 300 key works and artists that influenced the course of book jacket design.

Reviews

Vivid, gorgeous art graced books in the mid-20th century, and Martin Salisbury has collected the most stunning examples in The Illustrated Dust Jacket, 1920-1970.

— Entertainment Weekly

The Illustrated Dust Jacket, 1920-1970 by Martin Salisbury, chronicles how this once disposable object became a major creative force in publishing.

— Hyperallergic

Contributors

Martin Salisbury

Author

Martin Salisbury is a professor of illustration at the Cambridge School of Art, where he designed the renowned MA Children's Book Illustration program. He has previously chaired the international jury at the Bologna Children's Book Fair and been a member of the jury at the Global Illustration Awards in China. His books include Children's Picturebooks: The Art of Visual Storytelling, The Illustrated Dust Jacket: 1920-1970, and Miroslav Šašek in the Illustrators series.