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Classics Reimagined is a series of illustrated editions that add a bit of whimsy to some of history’s most beloved works of literature.
They come at the economic price of $25 a volume (and they’re even cheaper on Amazon). It’s an excellent value when you consider that a standard hardcover usually costs about the same. Unlike a standard hardcover though, these editions feature full-color illustrations on nearly every page. They’re surprisingly heavy, which must be a result of the dense, high-quality paper.
Speaking of paper, there are two types of paper that are used in these editions. Three of the volumes I received (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes) were printed on a thick, glossy paper that tends to stick together–especially in high heat or humidity. I don’t like glossy paper for this reason and the fact that it refracts light in a distracting way when reading under an incandescent bulb. The remaining two volumes I received (Pride and Prejudice and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) have lovely matte pages that show off the text and illustrations to their best effect.
The illustrations are what make these editions worth collecting. While each volume is illustrated by a different artist, they are all tied together by a modern, whimsical, and colorful style. My personal favorite is Pride and Prejudice but here are some photos of each volume and a brief bio of each artist.
Alice Pattullo is an illustrator and printmaker based in East London. She graduated in 2010 with a First Class Honours in Illustration from Brighton University. She works predominantly in screen print producing limited edition prints for sale in various outlets across the UK and online. Research is at the heart of her practice and her work is often inspired by British folk tradition and superstition.
Andrea D’Aquino has always resisted labels like “art director”, “illustrator”, “graphic designer” and finds herself happiest straddling the line between all those things. Her clients include Anthropologie, The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveller, The Washington Post, Elle Magazine, One Kings Lane, Vegetarian Times, Chronicle Books, Flow Magazine, PlanSponsor Magazine, and many others.
Olimpia Zagnoli is a young Italian artist, who often collaborates with The New York Times, The New Yorker, Marie Claire, Rolling Stone, and many others. She recently completed the cover design for the “American Illustration” book and she has done ad campaigns for Clinique, Panda, and other major clients both in the U.S. and Europe. She lives in Milan in a house with kaleidoscopic floors.
Yann Legendre is an internationally recognized illustrator, designer and art director based in Paris. His illustrations have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Reader, Perspective Magazine, and more. He is the art director of the French publisher Inculte, designing each book cover and every illustrated book series. He regularly creates illustrations for Universal Music in London, the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago, Janus Films and the Criterion Collection in New York. In 2011, CB2 (Crate & Barrel) commissioned him to illustrate a new collection of furniture called “Fresh Ink”. In 2010 he started a collaboration with the filmmaker Joe Swanberg, designing and illustrating all of the director’s movie posters. Yann received an Award of Excellence for the best movie poster design from the South by Southwest Film Festival.
Sophia Martineckï is an illustrator/artist living in Berlin. In 2010 she received the Art Directors Club Young Guns Award (for visionary artists under 30). In 2009 the notable Hans-Meid-Foundation (for German book illustration) awarded her illustrations for Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Body Snatcher and Carson McCullers’ The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter.
Overall, I think Classics Reimagined offer great value and are ideal for kids who are ready to tackle unabridged classics for the first time. And of course, they’re great for adults too!
What do you think of Classics Reimagined? Which classics editions are your favorites?