Monday, September 12, 2011

Space Age Book Design

I'm turning on the Way Back Machine today and venturing off into space. If you have any fascination with space travel, you should trot on over to John Sisson's great blog, Dreams of Space. The book examples here are but a sneak preview from his collection. Many were considered science fiction and published when space travel was just a dream. Others are delightful in their naiveté, such as the 1964 Russian children's book above,  About Moon and About Rocket. The modern design of this book is so much more sophisticated than most space travel books published in the US at that time—and remember—this was in an era of the Space Race between Russia and the US.
      The 1952 British book Flights Into the Future is a science fiction anthology of space stories by such greats as Jules Verne and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The illustrator's portrayal of futuristic space travel and space gear was incredibly visionary, but flawed, though this is what makes it great science fiction. The cover design with the forward-marching italic title is beautiful, as are the other illustrations in the book. Loving the dome helmets on these space clad men too.

One book from my own shelves is the 1958 Assignment in Space With Rip Foster (and his Planeteers). I've never considered myself much of a science fiction fan, but I do adore the design and illustrations of these early space travel books. 

Endsheets of Assignment in Space.

Danger lurks when Rip and his Planeteers are all under arrest by a foreign space man. 

1951 book by John Lewellen about our space neighbors, with cover design by Winnie Fitch.
       The 3D Adventure in Space below is a 1953 British send-up of space travel, complete with 3D glasses. Almost like being there! This one is fabulous, but probably my favorite cover design is the last example in this post, which is the 1957 Lion Annual with the robot in space
. For further space exploration, including spacemen on bicyclesraygunsjet packswomen in space, and the wonderful Space Alphabet book, be sure to pay a visit to Sisson's Dreams of Space site and his Space Age Flickrstream. It's like being in a time travel machine.


  1. Holly flippin' asteroids Houston! This posting made me hyperventilate and fog up my space mask. I love this $#!+.... Thanks Flush Left. I'm speechless.


  2. My pleasure Mr. Buster! Letterology goes where others fear to travel! Afterall, typography is all about space ; D

  3. Thanks for this post. It Very nice article. It was a very good article. I like it. Thanks for sharing knowledge. Ask you to share good article again.

  4. My pleasure! I'm happy to know of the "Planeteers" origin. Thanks!


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