Robert Hanks

Recent articles by Robert Hanks

Paranoia in the void

Issue 97, Autumn 2018


The selection of Nick Drnaso’s Sabrina for the Man Booker longlist – the…

Body of work

Issue 97, Autumn 2018


In our digital age, when every image is available and mutable, when…

Elegantly nerdish

Issue 90, Summer 2015


Cuneiform (the name means ‘wedge-shaped’) was, as far as these things can be…

To have and to hold

Issue 88, Summer 2014


The challenges of digital publishing have galvanised a new spirit in book design and production.…

Wordplay for a picture palace

Issue 86, Autumn 2013


In classical texts on the ‘art of memory’, the student is advised to…

Hardcore fluff

Issue 85, Spring 2013


Debates about education seem these days to have been reduced almost entirely…

Consequences for the comic artist

Issue 82, Winter 2012


Nelson is, according to Rob Davis’s introduction, ‘a testament to what comics…

Artwork and play

Issue 72, Summer 2009


Brian Knight’s lovingly detailed paintings of ships, planes and cars trace an elegiac path for…

Iron curtain Vegas

Issue 82, Winter 2012


In the mind’s eye, the Eastern Europe of the cold war is painted with a grey…

Nuffin’ like a Puffin

Issue 77, Autumn 2010


Phil Baines’s Penguin by Design: A Cover Story (2005) was, even at a glance, a…

Recent blog posts by Robert Hanks

Lincoln in the limelight

20 December 2017

Robert Hanks takes a final look at the cover designs for The Man Booker 2017 shortlist and the winner – George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo
Book design can be an unlovely process – a set of negotiations to find something that satisfies the requirements of design, editorial and sales, with the last inevitably taking precedence. Along the way, art can get sidelined and the results can be garish or banal, writes Robert Hanks.

And then there were six …

14 October 2017

The winner of the Man Booker Prize 2017 will be announced on 17 October. Robert Hanks talks to the designers whose covers wrap round the six shortlisted contenders
In ‘The look of literature’ I wrote about the thirteen covers on this year’s Man Booker Prize* longlist – widely praised as one of the most adventurous and wide-ranging ever, writes Robert Hanks.

The look of literature

31 August 2017

The Man Booker longlist provides a snapshot of graphic design for literary fiction. By Robert Hanks
The variety of the novels on this year’s Man Booker longlist is reflected in the cover designs: it is hard to pin down any themes, writes Robert Hanks.

Bodoni the celebrity

9 June 2016

Giambattista Bodoni was a pioneer, a polymath and a perfectionist printer. Robert Hanks reviews a new book about the man behind the typeface
Anybody with an interest in typography will have come across the name Bodoni; but the reasons for his fame are more obscure, writes Robert Hanks.

Banham’s Melbourne letters

26 March 2013

The first thing you think on flipping through Characters is: Wow, I wouldn’t mind living in Melbourne, writes Robert Hanks.

Lubbock’s brilliance

21 February 2013

During his lifetime, the prickly, uproarious brilliance of Tom Lubbock’s writing on art was a frustratingly well kept secret, writes Robert Hanks, hoarded by a few artists and fellow journalists, and the ever-diminishing fraternity of readers of the Independent newspaper (where we were colleagues for many years).

Technology and myth

2 April 2012

Klimowski and Schejbal give graphic life to Stanislaw Lem’s robots. Review by Robert Hanks
Stanislaw Lem (1921-2006) is usually considered an author of science fiction, but though his stories have the appropriate apparatus – spaceships, alien life-forms, robots – in mood and structure they are closer to fairy tale, myth or dream, writes Robert Hanks.

Type Tuesday: Iron curtain Vegas

28 February 2012

Ilona Karwińska shoots the lions and mermaids of Polish Cold War Neon
In the mind’s eye, the Eastern Europe of the cold war is painted with a grey wash, enlivened by occasional splashes of beige, writes Robert Hanks.