These covers for Harvard Review (a literary journal) are comprised of geometric forms which take a cue from the angular and curvilinear forms found in the typeface used for the journal’s title (a modified version of House Industries’ Neutraface).
With books migrating to pads and pods this maybe a moot point. But before designed book jackets, book covers were the primary illustrative and typographical surface on a book. The photographs of the covers taken from “Arts and Crafts Book Covers” (in the book over 90 in all), makes this an essential document of a fertile creative period.
Book jackets were functional appendages to books created to keep covers free of dirt and dust (hence the now antiquated term dust jackets). They’re also mini-posters designed to attract readers — like bees to the flower. Twenty years ago, Seymour Chwast and I authored a book titled Jackets Required, a survey of these dust repellent graphic designs from the ’20s through the ’40s.