The Len Deighton covers by Penguin are a variation on the traditional 1960s ebook covers

Deighton, perhaps best known for his 1962 novel The Ipcress File, which formed the basis for the 1965 film of the same name starring Michael Caine, was a book cover designer himself in the 1950s. After studying at the RCA in London, he created several covers for Penguin, including the British original edition of Jack Kerouac's On The Road.

The author worked closely with Penguin Press Art Director Jim Stoddart on the publisher's new jackets to accompany the republication of Deighton's spy and non-fiction novels as Penguin Modern Classics.

The design is reminiscent of the original paperbacks by Raymond Hawkey, who also designed covers for Ian Fleming's novels, and shows black and white photography along with a two-tone stripe.

"There was something eminently right about those 1960s Penguin covers, and they felt like a nice starting point for planning a couple of dozen covers for Deighton's Modern Classics," Stoddart told CR. “It also enables us to create styling that is completely unique and tailored specifically to Len Deighton, almost as a series within a series.

"Raymond Hawkey's 1960s covers use two very noticeable design motifs: the bold chevron graphics and the roughly shielded monochromatic photographs," he adds. “It struck me that these two ideas were the gift that allowed us to create a distinctive Len Deighton look. These two different graphical treatments can also be extrapolated into Deighton's canon in innumerable different ways, be it for his espionage thrillers, his wartime cliff hangers or his non-fiction books. "

Six books in the Len Deighton Penguin Modern Classics series will be released on April 29th at a price of £ 9.99.