Groundbreaking book cover designs from 1920s & 30s Germany

See cutting edge book cover designs and art from Taschen's new book about the Weimar Republic.

Our main reference points for Germany in the inter-war years are the dry succession of treaties and economic plans you studied in History at school, the rise of Hitler and his Nazis and - in complete contrast to both of these - a boundary-pushing approach to culture epitomised in Cabaret.

There was as much indulgence in the experimental in book design as in performance, something celebrated in a new book from Taschen: Book Covers in the Weimar Repubic. This includes 1,000 covers from the collection of German bookstore owner Jürgen Holstein, who was born in Berlin in 1936 as the indulgence of the 1920s and early 30s was being purged and burned by the new Nazi regime.

The covers' forms range from pure graphic design to more a traditional mixture of design and illustration - though the styles of these illustrations are often anything but traditional. Their subjects span the gamut of book publishing from children's books and novels to film criticism and biography.

Image: the cover of Book Covers in the Weimar Repubic.

Read on to see more covers from the book.

There are covers by the great names of modernist design like Jan Tschichold and by obscure designers and illustrators who are remembered only by Jürgen's collection.

Image: Otto Mänchen-Helfen's Drittel der Menschheit. 1932. Cover by Jan Tschichold.

The covers are accompanied by an introduction by Jürgen, plus essays about design in Weimar Germany by academics and journalists.

Image: Alfred Döblin's Berlin Alexanderplatz: Die Geschichte vom Franz Biberkopf. 1931. Cover by Georg Salter.

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Image: Polyphem's  Mit dem rechten Auge. 1925. Cover illustration by Garvens.

Image: G. Zeitschrift fu?r elementare Gestaltung. Edited by Hans Richter. No. 5/6: 1926. Cover by Paul Leni.

Image: Stefan Lorant's Wir vom Film. 1928. Cover drawing by Dugo (András Szenes).

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Image: Um uns die Stadt. Edited by Robert Seitz and Heinz Zucker. 1931. Cover by Martin Weinberg.

Image: Erich Kästner's Emil und die Detektive. 1931 . Cover illustration by Walter Trier.

Image: Egon Erwin Kisch's Klassischer Journalismus. 1923. Cover illustration by George G. Kobbe.

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