Apparently Marian Bantjes’s approach to her ﬁrst book was to make it “feel like a brick of gold.” With a cover of gold and silver foils on a satin cloth with gold-gilded page edges and lots of gold ink on the interior, it’s deﬁnitely a success, gold-brick-wise. Her work is known for being both illustrative and typographic at once, involving intricate patterns and highly ornamental vector art. The graphics represent all of these aspects and are fully entangled with the text throughout.
The content comes partially from essays previously published on Speak Up that she reworked for the book, and the rest is original. The writing feels somewhat zinelike to me: very personal and at times lightly researched. The theme of wonder takes her through illuminated manuscripts — obviously an inspiration for much of the design — honor, heraldry, two explorations of memory, and more. A lovely little brick.
See also: “The Bantjes Covers” on Design Observer