Why John Updike Designed His Own Book Covers

John Updike book covers

AIGA Eye on Design gives a brief history of John Updike’s book cover design process:

For jackets, Updike favored Albertus, a craggy Depression-era display face with tapering serifs resembling letters carved in metal, centered and in all caps. He loved certain shades of blue. He preferred 18-point type. Original art, yes. Contemporary photography, no. “He didn’t want to see too much letter spacing or type used in any kind of bizarre way.”