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book (design) story #350

b. traven:
der schatz der sierra madre

büchergilde gutenberg, zürich, 1942
printer: genossenschaftsdruckerei zürich
size: 24 x 16 cm
designer: richard paul lohse (jacket), kurt reibetantz

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the treasure of the sierra madre is probably the best-known book by b. traven (?-1969), mostly due to john huston's famous 1948 film starring humphrey bogart.

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the book was originally published in 1927 by the büchergilde gutenberg berlin, designed by kurt reibetantz (??-1929) who was also art director of the journal "typographische mitteilungen" (issue 4/1929 printed his obituary).

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here the original edition's title page (in a printing from 1930) ...

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... and first spread.

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in 1942 the exiled büchergilde in zürich issued a reedition. the books design mostly follows reibetantz' 1927 original, although the text was retranslated from the english translation – as suggested by traven himself (see story 311)!

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the 1927 edition had no dustjacket, and for the 1942 reedition an unusual jacket design was used: the mexican native style cover vignette was enlarged, with the cloth structure showing.

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the title on the jacket's spine is set in akzidenz-grotesk, the swiss modernist graphic designers' trademark typeface: the jacket was designed by richard paul lohse (1902-1988).

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