Virginia Woolf First Edition Book Spines

Interestingly enough, we are the client for this project, in the sense that this was a project we initiated for ourselves. It’s still a work in progress, and we’re still not entirely sure what the end product is going to be. But we’re ridiculously excited about how it’s going (plus just quietly we’re pretty sure that it will amazing) so we thought absolutely had to give you a little sneak peak at what it could be.

Why are we making the effort to squeeze this in around client work? We try to make sure the passion and the enthusiasm for design is always present in our studio space, and one of the ways we’ve discovered is ideal for maintaining this is undertaking design projects that we do purely for the love of them.

virginia woolf book spines

Illustrating first edition book spines is one of IYBI’s love projects. Our latest offering is a series of Virginia Woolf covers originally by Vanessa Bell.

Personal projects allow us to try crazy new ideas, and test our own limits, and hold ourselves up to the excruciating standards of our fellow designers. The great thing about personal projects is the stuff we learn and the excitement they make us feel rolls over into the work we do our for our clients, resulting in a happier us, and a happier you!

Virginia woolf

We love everything to do with books, and we think that spines are an under appreciated aspect of their design. We came up with this idea to explore the really beautiful spines that were released with some our most beloved classics. Virginia Woolf is one of the world’s greatest writers and one of our favourites.

Ever since we discovered these really kooky, really beautiful covers her sister the artist Vanessa Bell did for the first editions of her novels, we’ve been wanting to do something with them, so that other people might be able to discover just how awesome these are.

Virginia Woolf Book Spine
We’ve been working hard to recreate these beautiful spines in all their glory.

We’re pretty happy with the results we’ve been getting. But how to bring our tribute these beautiful spines into the physical world? Should we present them as a neat little collection, split them up into bundles, or just present each spine as it’s own gorgeous self? There’s so many variations on how we could it. The mind boggles a little. And what about the myriad of options for printing? We’ve considered letterpress, we’ve thought about  lino prints, we’ve pondered screen printing. We’ll be thinking over all these things in the next couple of weeks. We can promise it will be a worthwhile reveal. Watch this space.

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by Radi Safi

Radi Safi is the Creative Director at IYBI. In 2012 he launched Happy, a music blog and media company.
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