Gill & Macmillan – Michel Quoist covers

April 7, 2010

Meet Christ and Live!, Michel Quoist, Gill & Macmillan (1972). Cover design by Cor Klaasen.

Prayers of Life, Michel Quoist, Gill & Macmillan (1973). Cover design by Roísín Daly.

Above are two of the most striking Irish book covers I’ve seen from the early seventies. Both are for religious books by French writer and priest Michel Quoist.

Cor Klaasen (1926-1989) was a Dutch designer who came to Ireland in 1956 after answering an advertisement placed by O’Kennedy Brindley in an Amsterdam newspaper. Holland’s loss was Ireland’s gain as Klaasen proved to be a very capable designer and later an enthusiastic educator. He designed many book covers for Folens, Gill & Macmillan and Helicon amongst others. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to track down many examples, but it is nice to know that they are out there waiting to be unearthed.

The elusive Roísín Daly’s design for Prayers of Life is every bit as strong as Klaasen’s cover. The computer punch tape makes a far better cityscape then it does storage medium – it takes about 10 metres of tape to store 4k of information. Daly also designed covers for Gill & Macmillan’s Logos imprint but beyond that I can find no information.


Many thanks to Regan in the Winding Stair Bookshop for allowing me to mount the Vintage Irish Book Cover exhibition in the shop. The display is still in place for a short time if anyone still wishes to view it.

7 Responses to “Gill & Macmillan – Michel Quoist covers”

  1. Saive Says:

    You should check out this database of Pelican covers, if you haven’t already: The Pelican Project

  2. hitone Says:

    Thanks Saive, great site. I love the Sixties Pelican covers. I’ve added the link to my side bar.

  3. Tineke Klaasen Says:

    I am Cor’s widow. I have all his bookcovers, recordsleeves etc.

  4. […] included a single cover by Cor Klaasen in a previous post and commented that I hadn’t managed to track down many examples of his […]

  5. Paul Kelly Says:

    Last evening driving through Stephen’s Green I overheard Cor’s name on Lyric FM and as a result what a wonderful discovery to see Cor’s work receive some immortality posted here on the web. Cor was for many years my mentor and colleague and also my dear friend taken from us far too early. His creative genius and his ability to almost instantly illustrate creative brainstorms into pictures that captivated and cemented client relationships during new business boardroom presentations were always a source of amazement to me and made my job in nailing down the nuts and bolts of client contracts so much easier.
    Frankly we are seeing just a soupçon of Cor’s creative output here in his book cover and album covers. His advertising campaigns for many of Ireland’s household names and also for some multinationals are probably hidden in these companies archives as unfortunately his Irish and international ad campaigns from the 70’s and 80’s didn’t have the Internet to store his genius.
    Cor was a man I am both proud and honoured to have known and worked with and I am truly delighted to see some of his work here.
    Paul Kelly

  6. Tineke Klaasen Says:

    Hallo Paul, I only saw this recently. I am not often on facebook. Pleased to see what you said about Cor, Thank you. I cannot believe it is 25 years ago he left us. Tineke.

    • Paul Kelly Says:

      I am so pleased to hear from you Tineke….I am living and working now in Lanzarote but 25 years ago…it seems like yesterday and I have always had a few of Cor’s drawings he gave me on the wall wherever I have lived so he is never forgotten.
      A big hug

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