7 Subtly Suggestive New Cover Designs For Nabokov’s Lolita

7 Subtly Suggestive New Cover Designs For Nabokov’s Lolita

Boiling down the essence of a book into a single, striking image is a incredible challenge. Part of the fun of browsing for new books is checking out the various artistic interpretations of your favourite titles — while shamelessly judging each and every unknown by what’s emblazoned on the front.

Lolita: The Story of a Cover Girl is a new hardback — available August 30th — that explores Nabokov’s 1955 man-meets-girl tale through a collection of 80 new covers commissioned by LA-based architect John Bertram. Bertram was inspired after visiting this online round-up of existing copies, and launched a competition soliciting new interpretations from graphic designers and illustrators. The results, along with critical essays examining the various visuals, offer a unique new take on a complex classic.

According to Creative Review, here’s what Nabokov expressed as his ideal take: “I want pure colours, melting clouds, accurately drawn details, a sunburst above a receding road with the light reflected in furrows and ruts, after rain. And no girls.” Something “romantic, delicately drawn, non-Freudian and non-juvenile.” Here’s the author himself shuffling through his own collection of foreign copies of the novel, pretty amused at all the different variations:

Which do you feel best captures the spirit of Lolita? And which would you want to sit on your shelf at home? [Creative Review]

By Matt Dorfman.

By Andy Pressman.

By Ellen Lupton.

By Jaime Keenan.

By Jason Polan.

By Rachel Berger.

By Michael Beirut.