Vintage goes full bleed for its new literary heroines series

Dodie Smith’s I Capture The Castle and Colette’s Gigi are among the Vintage Heroines collection, which uses minimal design and colour photography to create a striking set of jackets

Photo by Anja Niemi

The ten book series brings together well-known and celebrated female literary figures, including Xiaolu Guo’s Fenfang, Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and NoViolet Bulawayo’s Darling.

According to Lily Richards, picture editor at the publishing house, the collection offered a perfect opportunity to work with “some of the best and most exciting contemporary women photographers” from around the world.

Photo by Rachel Seidu
Photo by Carla van de Puttelaar
Photo by Nina Ahn

Richards selected imagemakers from Europe, the US, Nigeria, South Korea and China, to reflect the Vintage Heroines’ series own multinational authors. She says she “felt confident we could create a series in which each cover would complement the heroine and style of writing of the respective novel, but would also work visually as a cohesive series”.

The covers were designed by Kris Potter to focus on the colour photography, with titles and authors displayed in a sans serif typeface.

Big type and flourishy illustration has dominated book covers for some time now, with photography often playing second fiddle, or added as a supporting element – you only have to look at CR’s 2021 round up to see the evidence. Vintage’s series is a brilliant reminder of how compelling photography-led covers can be.

The Literary Heroines series is published by Vintage;