London-based illustrator Sroop Sunar has created a vibrant set of ten new covers for author Salman Rushdie’s backlist and also his forthcoming title, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, citing mid-century Indian matchbox label designs as her inspiration…
Rushdie’s new novel will be published in hardback by Jonathan Cape in September (cover shown below), while his backlist titles will be available in Vintage.
Sunar’s endpapers for Rushdie’s latest book
On the Vintage CMYK blog, which reguarly posts about the design behind its most recent titles, Sunar explains her process behind the new-look covers. (The full set of ten backlist covers can be seen there and on sroopsunar.com.)
“Much of my inspiration comes from the vibrant, visual language found on everyday packaging and labels found in India around the time of Independence,” she says on CMYK.
“It was a time of great transition, of hybridity, of old and new ideas clashing together. Of all forgotten places, this showed most on the simplest, seemingly insignificant canvas of all – the humble matchbox and its printed label.”
“The kaleidoscopic variety of haphazardly printed ephemera seen on matchbox labels, as well as medicine boxes, soap packs and firecrackers, all have such a recognisable and symbolic aesthetic that really captured a unique period in time,” says Sunar.
“His books touch on many similar themes and places that I pull inspiration from, and I can only hope that these new covers might capture the curiosity of some of the next generation of readers just as matchboxes captured mine.”