This post provides a broad overview over the diverse cover designs for some of the editions of Len Deighton’s alternative history novel SS-GB, set in a United Kingdom conquered and occupied by Germany during World War II.
The first edition was published by Jonathan Cape in 1978, with a cover design by Raymond Hawkey (1930–2010), who was a friend and fellow art school graduate of Deighton. In an obituary for Hawkey, Rob Mallows quotes Len Deighton about Hawkey’s dedicated approach:
For SS-GB, […] Ray produced a book of British stamps complete with Hitler’s head that stamp collectors cherish. He also had the photographer Adrian Flowers make a photo of Whitehall that could be exactly matched with a parade in Berlin to make a fake postcard of Hitler in London taking the salute of a march past.
This photo appears on the back of the dust cover.
Red and black is a recurrent theme. Unsurprisingly, several of the typographic choices are either decidedly British (Windsor!), or stereotypically (Nazi-)German, i.e. blackletter in general and schaftstiefelgrotesk in particular, see the Harper edition at the end of this post, as well as the title sequence for the current BBC series.
Contributed by Stephen Coles
Contributed by Drew Powers
Contributed by David Jonathan Ross