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Murakami covers by Noma Bar

Books, Illustration

Posted by Mark Sinclair, 2 October 2012, 11:45    Permalink    Comments (20)

Vintage has redesigned its Haruki Murakami backlist and commissioned illustrator Noma Bar to recover each of the Japanese author's books...

Writing on the Vintage Books Design tumblr, Random House creative director Suzanne Dean says the use of the central circle device, along with a colour palette of red, black and off-white create a consistent identity for the set of 15 books.

All the covers were printed at Tuckshop, Print Club London's bespoke screen printing service.

"Murakami's work has a sense that something has been lost or hidden, what is real and what is not," she says. "To match this playfulness for the covers, we commissioned Noma Bar [whose] powerful graphic illustrations cleverly utilise negative space concealing secondary images and illusions. Noma's illustrations were screenprinted by hand to give them a personal and softer edge."

"As with Murakami's writing," adds Bar, "new meanings can be found in my illustrations on closer inspection and these discoveries reveal themselves in layers, like a puzzle. These layers of discovery are evident in all of my work."

The full set of 15 Murakami titles can be seen at vintagebooksdesign.tumblr.com (13 of the covers are by Bar). See vintage-books.co.uk. Noma Bar is represented by Dutch Uncle.

 

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20 Comments

I wish all 15 had kept the circle motif (why only 3 that don't?). Still a nice series and good work from Bar as ever.
Decimal
2012-10-02 14:02:02


They are lovely.
No chance of a Pinball reissue?
david janes
2012-10-02 15:21:02


Lovely series, great work from Bar as usual!

However, I almost wish the circle device was applied a little more loosely (or not at all?) - for me the strongest covers are those that do without completely, especially "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" and "Underground". The circle works well where it actually represents something, such as "South of the Border, West of the Sun", but in some it almost feels as though the illustrations have simply been shoehorned into the constraints of the device, occasionally coming across as a little forced and slightly gimmicky (especially in "Norwegian Wood", which otherwise is an stunningly simple and beautiful summation of the book).

I'm also a little confused as to why Bar didn't do the entire set?

Still, great to see a well-known authors' back-catalogue get the full illustrative treatment!
Benedict Mayer
2012-10-03 00:50:41


Wow, they're all so consistently clever. Impressive work.
Glen Isip
2012-10-03 03:12:32


I was looking at my Murakami’s last night and thought that they badly needed a redesign. Looks great.
Joey Teehan — Subliminal
2012-10-03 10:12:58


Not sure if it is deliberate but of the three books that do not use the circle motif, two are non fiction and the other I believe a collection of work by other authors chose by Murakami. All his fiction work maintain the circle which I personally quite like. Kafka and After Dark are particularly striking and sum up the books very well.
Luke Weall
2012-10-03 10:15:18


How does he do it, Noma Bar never fails to impress me with his witty ideas. Took me a while to get the Elephant one.
Greg Baldwin
2012-10-03 11:03:06


@ Decimal

They all feature a circle in one way or another, think it works well to keep the series together
Kalle
2012-10-03 11:29:41


Superb.
Felipe
2012-10-03 18:59:08


Sublime!
Danny Wadeson
2012-10-04 10:47:47


I think the typeface let's the artwork down massively. What is that, Verdana? Helvetica? Ugly.
Rosie Milton
2012-10-04 12:41:53


Its so easy to like Noma Bar's work, effortless...
Jitesh Patel
2012-10-04 13:52:05


I agree with Benedict. Use the circle construction - which presumably has something to do with the rising sun - or don't.
Geoff Naylor
2012-10-04 13:57:16


Second image kinda looks like the 'Death Star'.

Nice work Norma!
Tim Phelan
2012-10-04 14:14:40


Great 'design' but I don't really think they reflect the actually writing of this great author. The one of the broken record... I'm sure that's almost identical to a previous design of that title too.
John Amy
2012-10-04 16:46:02


@John Amy: It's similar, but a silhouette of a face is made with the broken edge of the record, giving it an additional level of thought that wasn't on the previous cover.

It's hard not to Like Noma's work.
milktoday
2012-10-05 10:59:26


@Luke - I thought the same but "After the Quake" is a collection of short stories too. Hmmmm.

Really love the wind up bird chronicles cover.
Anthony Browne
2012-10-12 15:44:06


Great work.
Superfried
2012-11-06 14:27:57


The Wonder of the Moth.
Nate
2012-11-08 09:56:24


The reason three of them don't have the circle motif is because they are nonfiction. Also, does anyone know where these can be purchased? (I'm in the states). These are lovely.
hanna
2013-03-11 03:51:13


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