Philip Roth paperbacks (Bantam Books, 1970–1978)
In an earlier post, we had looked at the dust jackets designed for hardcover editions of books by Philip Roth. This follow-up is about the mass-market paperback editions published by Bantam Books. Just like the jackets, the paperback covers are characterized by a bold Caslon variant with swashes, set center-aligned and tightly spaced, with the title and the author’s name separated by color. For some titles, even the color scheme is the same, see Portnoy’s Complaint or Our Gang.
The main difference is in the typeface. While the jackets probably use Caslon Contempo, the paperback covers were designed with Benguiat Caslon. Drawn by Ed Benguiat for Photo-Lettering, Inc. in the second half of the 1960s, this display Caslon is distinguished by a higher contrast between thicks and thins, and sharply tapering serifs. Other differences include the fine lines separating the author’s name from the title — or from mentions of his previous bestselling title — and the inclusion of secondary text like the rotated line with info about the serial number, price, and publisher.
Not included in this compilation are When She Was Good (1968, a precursor?) and Our Gang (special Watergate edition, 1973). They use Benguiat Caslon, too, albeit in freer arrangements, and were featured in separate posts by Garrison.