The last Friday in October is known to some as Frankenstein Friday—a chance to celebrate Mary Shelley’s creation, as well as Dr. Frankenstein’s. A favorite among horror enthusiasts, Frankenstein was originally published in 1818. In its nearly 200 years of life, the work has seen its fair share of adaptations, from plays to movies and comics to graphic novels. Take a journey through time with these 17 cover designs for the classic novel.
Frankenstein Lives: 17 Cover Designs Throughout History
Jean-Léon Huens; Corgi Books, 1960s
Jean-Leéon Huens (1921–1982) was a Belgian artist who started his career as a children’s book illustrator. He later went on to create the covers for a weekly comics magazine called Tintin. By the mid 1960s, his art had spread worldwide, and he was creating for Reader’s Digest and The Saturday Evening Post.
Uncredited; Airmont Books Classic Series, 1963
Did you notice Frankenstein’s Monster hiding in the dark sky?
Mara McAfee; Pocket Books, 1976
Mara McAfee (1929–1984) wore many hats. She was an actress, a dancer, an illustrator and an American Pop artist. Her works often featured contemporary subjects and was usually satirical in nature (see: “A Banana In The Ear“).
Frank Mactey; Grosset & Dunlap, 1931
Mary Shelley’s story was brought back into the limelight in the ’30s after James Whale’s Frankenstein film debut in 1931. Publisher Grosset & Dunlap took advantage of the film’s success and released Photoplay Editions of the novel that featured scenes from the movies. The first Photoplay edition (pictured here) was bound in red cloth with black lettering.
Nino Cabré; Grosset & Dunlap, 1932
In 1932 and after the success of the Photoplay editions, Nino Cambré (1909–1993) created the Illustrated edition of Frankenstein for Grosset & Dunlap.
Joaquín Pertierra; French Gothic Dolphin Publisher*, circa 1960s
Joaquín Pertierra is truly an enigma. I spent several hours trying to find more information about Pertierra and Le Roman Gothique, but all I could find were a few blogs sharing the artist’s work with little description. Who is Joaquín?
Ladybird Books LTD, 1984
Cover design for Frankenstein First Edition Ladybird Book from the Horror Classic Series.
Bernie Wrightson; Éditions Albin Michel, 1984
Bernie Wrightson is famous for his gruesome stories (see: Swamp Thing). In 1984, he provided nearly 50 drawings for the Albin Michel edition of Frankenstein. The illustrations are so detailed that they almost look like old-fashioned engravings.
Maciej Ratajski; 2010
Maciej Ratajski is a Polish-born designer and contemporary artist.
Gareth Graham; Recovering the Classic Project
Roberto Lanznaster; Recovering the Classic Project
Roberto Lanznaster is an illustrator and senior designer based in Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil.
Nick Fairbank; Recovering the Classics Project
Nick Fairbank is a graphic designer based in Brugge, Belgium. You can see his entire series for the Recovering the Classics Project here.
Alexis Lampley; Recovering the Classics Project
Mike Young; Personal Project, 2010
Designer Mike Young recreated four classic horror/science fiction book covers as a personal project. See all of the results on his website.
Luis Prado; Recovering the Classics Project
Pol Alert; Shillington Education Typography Design, 2015
Pol Alert’s Frankenstein cover was featured on Shillington’s page showcasing portfolio projects from six campuses around the world.
T. M. Serlin; Recovering the Classics Project
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