Increasing tensions between the current U.S. President’s administration and major news sources have jettisoned sales of George Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984 through the roof. Whether you’re an Orwell fan or not, the novel is certainly relevant in the era of “alternative facts” and “fake news.”
In light of its recent popularity, I was inspired to delve into the iconic book covers that have come to represent 1984. As you’ll see, many of the covers feature the famous “eye” of Big Brother, but others are more offbeat. The color evolution from green to consistent reds also speaks to the world’s political perspective on the text.
Check out some of my favorites below, including both official covers and concept art. I’ve cited designers where I could find them, but some of them have eluded me. If you know any creators I’ve missed, let me know in the comments and I’ll add them:
A Selection of 1984 Book Covers
First British Edition, Secker and Warburg 1949
I was unable to find a cover designer credit for this edition of the book. If you know that information, kindly post in the comments below.
Secker & Warburg, Illustrations by Alex Williamson, 1999 Edition
Penguin Books UK cover by Shepard Fairey, 2008
Like much of Fairey’s work, this cover reminds us of Fairey’s cover for the Fall 2016 Issue of Print Magazine!
Nineteen Eighty Four Anniversary Edition, Penguin UK 2009
Swedish Edition with Art by by Olle Eksell,1959
1984 60th Anniversary Edition designed by Jason Johnson
French Edition with Art by Michel Siméon
French Edition, 1980
Indonesian Edition, 2003
Slovakian Edition, 2009
1988 Penguin edition, featuring “The Soul of the Soulless City” by etcher and lithographer Christopher R. W. Nevinson.
Penguin “Great Orwell” Series Cover by David Pearson, 2013
And a closer look:
And here are a couple of intriguing unpublished 1948 book covers and concepts, sourced from the artists on Behance: