The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

J.G. Ballard Series by Stanley Donwood



Some how I missed these when they were first published in 2014,1 but British publisher Fourth Estate has reissued 21 books by J.G. Ballard with covers designed Stanley Donwood. Donwood, who is perhaps best known for his artwork for Radiohead, talked about Ballard and the cover designs on the 4th Estate blog:

I have done many strange things in order to design these covers; I’ve visited underground laboratories, watched the huge sky under the Fens, ignited flammable liquids, fired guns, melted quantities of wax, poured liquid nitrogen across a table and taken deliveries of hypodermic needles.


(via Rhys Tranter)

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1. this is the second reminder in a week of just how many covers I don’t catch. Designers / art directors / editors /publicists feel free to email me about projects you’re working on. Don’t assume that I will see them — especially if you are in the UK, Australia or New Zealand!


  1. I missed them first time around, too. I still can’t get over just how striking they are!

  2. Yes! I particularly like the cover for The Atrocity Exhibition. Thanks for bringing them to my attention, Rhys.

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