April 4, 2011

by Reb Yudel
Protestant, Catholic, Jew -- and Edward Gorey?

While Googling William Herberg's Protestant Catholic Jew (for a possible reference in an article about the Bergen County Interfaith Committee), I stumbled across the cover at left. It's a design amazing for its simplicity. But more amazing, as I discovered when looking at the Flickr page with the cover, is that the typography is by Edward Gorey.

It turns out that Gorey, best known for his macabre illustrated books (to steal a phrase from Wikipedia), served as art editor for Doubleday's Anchor Books line of scholarly paperbacks from 1953-1960. On some, he did the full design and illustration. An examination of the cover of Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling reveals that, yes, its Gorey's hand behind the lettering.

While Gorey was art director and typographer for Herberg's book, the designer and illustrator was George Giusti. An archive of Giusti's book covers is here. A flickr set of Gorey's covers is here.

That's today's footnote of mid-20th century graphic design.

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