This is the cover of the first edition of A Clockwork Orange (William Heinemann, 1962), designed by the artist Barry Trengrove. Trengrove also designed the cover of Leonard Cohen’s first novel The Favourite Game (Secker and Warburg, 1963). His image for A Clockwork Orange was featured in the publication 17 Graphic Designers London (Balding and Mansell, 1963), a collection of work by the leading designers of the day including Dennis Bailey, Jock Kinneir, Margaret Calvert, Romek Marber, John Sewell and others.
On publication the book sold poorly, at least in the UK, with most reviewers baffled by Burgess’s linguistic inventiveness and disturbed by the violence of the narrative. In the United States Burgess’s novel gained an underground following, however, and was reprinted a number of times. Trengrove’s design was superseded by David Pelham’s famous image for Penguin, produced in 1972 after the Stanley Kubrick film was released: there are of course no bowler hats in the novel.
Trengrove’s design was revived for the 50th anniversary edition of A Clockwork Orange: The Restored Text (W.W. Norton, 2012).
Artist Sam Huddleston has created a silk-screen print inspired by this cover design as part of the exhibition ‘Urgent Copy’, on show at Cornerhouse, 70 Oxford Street, Manchester, until 7 January 2014. More details here.