This site is for the exhibition ’1984 Looks Like This’ by documentary photographer David Dunnico at Salford Museum and Art Gallery.

© of all items remains with the original creators.


New book

New 30 page full colour booklet about the cover design of Orwell’s 1984 download it as a pdf here. It features dozens of UK and foreign editions from the first in 1949 up to the present day.

Happy Christmas Pudding

orwell xmas pudding recipeThis blog has long since served its purpose of being a repository of background information for my exhibition “1984 Looks Like This” (though there is talk of another showing), I had intended to send the website down the memory hole, but thought I’d at least let it see in the New Year. So here is a special post for Xmas – George Orwell’s recipe for Christmas pudding, written in times more austere than these we are living in.

They come from his unpublished essay on British cooking, which can be downloaded as a pdf from here.



redacted-book-series-colin-ford-1Proving there’s nothing new under the sun – a project called ‘Redacted’ by designer Colin M. Ford beat the new Penguin edition featured in the last post. Ford explains on his website:

“The Redacted project is a series of dystopian novels designed to look like they had been censored by the oppressive governments from the novels. The designs quote the over-photocopied style of CIA documents released during the US Senate investigation of waterboarding which were entirely redacted except for a few words per page. The layout of the interiors were heavily influenced by the Cranbrook post-modernist style and the design of The House of Leaves. I wanted the insides to have the same raw style as the outside without completely copying it. And yes, the inside is set in Times. Seeing as it’s the official typeface of the US State Department I thought it was the only appropriate typeface for the job. Anything else would look too even and manicured”.

Orwell on the BBC

orwell bbcBBC Radio 4 are broadcasting a series of programmes about Orwell from late January and on into February 2013.

Details here…

New censored edition

nineteeneightyfourdropshadow569_0A new Penguin edition of 1984 designed by David Pearson has just come out. It features the orignal ornage band design of Penguin’s original paperback with the title and author blacked out as if they were censored. Quite witty and clever, however it needs to be remembered that in the book the Party don’t censor they change the record. Winston spends his days altering back copies of The Times. The party don’t pass repressive laws because there are no need for laws, people censor and repress themselves. This idea was important to Orwell and partly came from his experience as a BBC producer where scripts were self censored by the writers to a level beyond what an official censor would inflict. The new cover also once again shows how imbedded in the culture 1984 is. It is one  of the few books that has had covers which don’t feature the title or author (See Jon Gray’s 2009 anniversary edition for Penguin).
More on Pearson’s design and his other new Orwell covers, here.

New blog

Meanwhile… I’ve just finished a new booklet about how artists have used the Union Jack and Stars and Stripes flags. It’s called ‘A White Flag on the Moon’ and you can download it as a free pdf or listen to an mp3 audio version.

Hidden Histories Talk

Under cover: designing Orwell’s 1984

I’m very pleased to have been invited by the Working Class Movement Library to give a talk. Ruth and Eddie Frow who built up the collection, used to live at the top of the road I was brought up on in Old Trafford. I was always amazed to see through their front room window at all the books stacked from floor to ceiling.

The library needs your support, so if you can spare something please go here.
Anyway, about the talk:

“David Dunnico uncovers the hidden meanings behind the cover design of George Orwell’s ‘1984′. One of the most important books of the 20th century, it has been claimed by Left and Right and has a remarkable power of appearing prescient to each new generation. Documentary photographer Dunnico shows how the changing covers of the novel reflect the politics of their time.”

2pm Wednesday 31 October Admission Free
Working Class Movement Library
51, The Crescent Salford M5 4WX



A few more reviews, last couple of days, exhibition ends on Sunday.
Jenny Swedlow
Manchester Lab
Any Arts Manchester
Thank you to everyone who has taken the trouble to visit the exhibition, especially if they have gone to the trouble of writing about it.

Exhibition Ends 1 July

1984 Looks Like This finishes its run at Salford Museum and Art Gallery on Sunday 1 July. We’ve had some brilliant reviews and comments, so if you want to see an articulate look at what Orwell’s 1984 means in our surveillance culture you’ve only got a week left.

Winning covers

Photographer David Dunnico and Amy Goodwin, Exhibitions Officer at Salford Museum and Art Gallery judged a competition for design students at Salford University to illustrate a cover for 1984 as part of their course. The winner and two runners up were announced at the gallery yesterday. The winning entry by Tom Cunliffe has been made into a one-off copy of the novel which is on display in the gallery, along with prints of all the other entries.
The two runners up are Stephanie Morris [Left] and Masum Miah [Right]. Thank you to everyone who entered. The exhibition runs until 1 July 2012.