This stunning series of James Bond covers were the paperback presence of Ian Fleming’s character during the height of its fame in the 1960s and the Sean Connery films. There were millions of copies printed so that by the time I started collecting in the late 70s/early 80s, these were still the most-common editions to be found, even though other cover designs had succeeded them.
The previous paperback series had more typical painted illustration covers, but these simple, conceptual and iconic covers remain fantastic examples of design. They were the first series of Bond books to use modern typefaces (Helvetica and News Gothic in this case), and minimalistic imagery that included photographs. They would have stood out on a spinner rack that was still dominated by traditional imagery.
While I’ve listed the books below with the date of their first printings, the covers were designed by Raymond Hawkey in 1963. 007 Magazine did a great article on Mr. Hawkey in issue #54 (Feb 2011), available on their website.
I don’t know if Hawkey designed any of these, but they’re the other Fleming-related Pan books of the 60s. Movie tie-in versions, Fleming’s non-Bond books and a couple of others. Presented in chronological order. Readers new to Bond may note that the books were filmed in a different order than they were written, and as the movies went on they used less and less of Fleming’s narrative.