Vintage German Book Covers – Part 2.

by Amy Collier

Herman Hesse: Der Steppenwolf
Published by DTV, 1968, © 1955 Herman Hesse
Cover by Celestino Piatti
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Deutsche Lyrik Gedichte seit 1945 (German lyric poetry since 1945)
Published by DTV, 1968, © 1961 Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt GmbH, Stuttgart
Cover by Celestino Piatti

Gerhart Hauptmann: Der Biberpelz (The Beaver Coat)
Published by eine Propyläen Textausgabe, 1969, © 1959 Verlag Ullstein GmbH, Frankfurt/M – Berlin
Cover by Hermann Rastorfer
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Gerhart Hauptmann: Rose Bernd
Published by eine Propyläen Textausgabe, 1968, © 1959 Verlag Ullstein GmbH, Frankfurt/M – Berlin
Cover by Hermann Rastorfer

In Sachen Böll Ansichten und Einsichten (Views and Insights on Heinrich Böll)
Edited by Marcel Reich-Ranicki
Published by DTV, 1972, © 1968 Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Köln – Berlin
Cover by Celestino Piatti
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Bertolt Brecht: Frühe Stücke – Baall. Trommeln in der Nacht. Im Dickicht der Städte
(Bertolt Brecht: Early Pieces – Baall, Drums in the Night, In the Jungle of Cities)
Published by DTV, 1967, © 1953 Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin
Cover by Celestino Piatti

Walter M. Diggelmann: Das Verhör Des Harry Wind (The Interrogation of Harry Wind)
Published by Rororo Tashenbuch Ausgabe, 1966, © 1962 Benziger Verlag
Cover by Wilfried Blecher
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thomas Mann: Buddenbrooks
Published by Fischer Bücherei, 1970, © 1922 S. Fischer Verlag, Berlin

Gerhart Hauptmann: Die Weber (The Weavers)
Edited by H. Schwab–Felisch
Published by Ullstein Bücher, 1971, © 1959/63 Verlag Ullstein GmbH, Frankfurt/M – Berlin – Wien
Cover by Wolfgang Dohmen
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Max Frisch: Biedermann und die Brandstifter (The Fire Raisers),
Ein Lehrstück ohne Lehre Mit einem Nachspiel

Editors: Paul Kurt Ackermann, Boston University & William G. Moulton, Princeton University
Published by Houghton Mifflin Co., © 1958 Suhrkamp Verlag, © 1963 Paul Kurt Ackermann
Illustrated by Eric von Schmidt

Herman Hesse: Narziβ und Goldmund (Narcissus and Goldmund)
Published by Fischer Bücherei, 1970, © 1957 Hermann Hesse, Montagnola
Cover by Kurt Wirth
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thomas Mann: Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull (Confessions of Felix Krull)
Published by Fischer Bücherei, 1965, © 1954 Thomas Mann
Cover by Kurt Wirth

Erich Kästner: Fabian
Published by Ullstein Buch, 1969, © Atrium Verlag A,G. Zürich
Cover by Hermann Rastorfer
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Franz Kafka: Der Prozeβ (The Trial)
Published by Fischer Bücherei, 1960, © 1935 Schocken Verlag, Berlin
Cover design from a drawing by Kafka

[ All work & images © ]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

As promised, here is the bonanza of vintage German paperbacks I recently came upon at a thrift store in my home town. Most of these notable plays and literary classics were published in the mid and late 1960s with a few being published in the early 1970s. These covers represent work by Celestino Piatti (1922–2007), Hermann Rastorfer (1930–2009), Kurt Wirth (1917–1996), Wilfried Blecher, Eric von Schmidt, Wolfgang Dohmen and a drawing by novelist Kafka (1883–1924) himself.

Of note, as four of the above covers are works by Swiss artist/designer Celestino Piatti for German publisher DTV…

In 1961 Piatti became the designer for the newly-founded Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag (DTV) of Munich. As well as their cover designs, Piatti was responsible for the company’s typography, signets, letterheads, advertisements and posters, giving the DTV catalogue a uniform identity which combined the International Typographic Style with quirky illustration. His distinctive covers used the sans-serif Akzidenz-Grotesk typeface in black against a white background. From 1961, beginning with Heinrich Böll’s Irisches Tagebuch, to 1991, he designed almost all of DTV’s publications, a total of more than 6,300 titles.

In 1987, the DTV produced a retrospective book about Piatti, entitled Celestino Piatti, Meister des graphischen Sinnbilds.

Wikipedia

See an additional terrifically illustrated Piatti cover in my previous vintage German book cover post here plus more book covers on AQ-V here.

–Amy

Previous post:

Next post: