Monday, July 20, 2015

Book jacket designer Arthur Hawkins, Jr.

Arthur Hawkins, Jr. was a prolific book cover designer in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. He designed the iconic jacket of The Postman Always Rings Twice (Knopf, 1934), which appears on the Armed Services Edition paperback below.

Hawkins was a member of the Book Jacket Designers Guild, which was formed in 1947 in reaction to the crass and sexual pulp covers that had proliferated in that time. The guild put on exhibitions of the best dustjackets and paperback covers as a way to promote quality design that supported fine literature.
1945 Armed Services Edition of The Postman Always Rings Twice. From my collection.

Hawkins specialized in jackets, but he also worked on paperback covers: Lend-Lease: Weapon for Victory (Pocket Books, 1944), Malice in Wonderland (Penguin, 1946), The Purple Onion Mystery (Penguin, 1947).

Steven Heller wrote a piece about Hawkins’ book cover work on the Print website.

There is more info about Hawkins and the Book Jacket Guild in The Book of Paperbacks by Piet Schreuders.

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