From Russia with Love Competition Debrief

In April 2017, we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the publication of Ian Fleming’s fifth James Bond novel, From Russia with LoveDuring its 60 years in print across the world, the novel has been published with a great many stunning and unforgettable covers. To celebrate this aspect of the novel’s rich history, we held a competition for talented illustrators and designers to design an original cover for Fleming’s book, with the judges basing their decision on the following factors:

  • accuracy to Fleming’s novel From Russia with Love
  • imagination and aesthetically pleasing design

We received a large number of entries, and we’re delighted to showcase a selection below alongside the winners.

1st prize went to Dan Loumeau, with his eye-catching and highly professional design, incorporating a breathtaking sense of motion and artfully representing many familiar elements such as the Orient Express and Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.  Refreshingly modern, yet satisfyingly evocative of Fleming’s thriller, we were happy to award this inventive entry the first prize of a Bentley Special Edition of Casino Royale, courtesy of Penguin Books. Instagram: @lumo_design_co

Each of the following runners up received a copy of the Folio Society From Russia with Love Illustrated Collector’s edition, signed by illustrator Fay Dalton.

We appreciated the sinister atmosphere of Catherine Paiano’s entry, in which the novel’s sense of impending doom is well executed through the silhouettes and shadows. Which figure is Bond? Who is primed to assassinate whom? The hallway from the Orient Express adds to the menace and provides an intriguing focus to the cover – the eye is simultaneously drawn to the figures and down the corridor, where either escape or further danger awaits. Twitter & Instagram: @catherinepaiano

Mark Anderson’s design is an exercise in how effective a seemingly simple image can be. The bullet represents death, the lipstick represents love, and the combination effectively encapsulates not only the Russian honey-trap laid for Bond, but the very essence of Fleming’s writing. Luxury and sensual pleasure are never far from danger and brutality in a Bond thriller, and the design expertly draws this notion to the reader’s mind. Instagram: @mwilliamanderson

This design from Mark O’Connell is visually stimulating, immediately evoking the chess master and SMERSH schemer Kronsteen, from chapter 7 of the novel. More so than in some of the other novels, Bond is specifically targeted in From Russia with Love, making the chess analogue very suitable – he is playing a game against SMERSH in which the enemy is seemingly two moves ahead.  Whilst he seeks to discover the Spektor code, SMERSH seek 007’s blood. The implicit danger is exemplified in the bleeding bullet holes, with the trails of blood subtly evoking the towers of Hagia Sophia. Twitter: @Mark0Connell

The collage below shows a selection of the amazing covers we received. We are very thankful to everyone who entered the competition and it will not be long before we hold another, so keep your eye on our social media channels for news.

Facebook: @ianflemingbooks    Twitter: @theianfleming    Instagram: @ianflemings007