Emanuel Haldeman-Julius : Pocket Series and the Little Blue Books

Resources for Collectors:
Classifying the Various Pocket Series and Little Blue Book Wrappers

By Jason Ramsay-Brown

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Wrapper Fronts: Candidate Design Styles

Candidate Design Styles have been designated as such because some ambiguity exists in how well they conform to the established criteria for Named Design Styles. For the most part this is because only one example wrapper has been located, although others are anticipated to exist. In some cases, however, the wrapper may exhibit qualities that could potentially serve to provoke greater definition of existing criteria. Regardless of reason, Candidate Design Styles are recorded separately from Named Design Styles to permit further research and facilitate ongoing discussion.

Candidate Design Styles follow the naming convention of year-month-day - letter, based on the date it was declared an official candidate and the assignment of a letter from a to z that distinguishes it from any others that might have been declared candidates that day. This convention was designed to distinguish Candidate Design Styles from Named Design Styles, and to help discourage general use while still allowing candidates to be conveniently referenced.

While the Named Design Styles recorded previously in this article serve only to illustrate the conclusions drawn while cultivating our classification system, the Candidate Design Styles below still represent an active list. Wrapper styles will be removed from here once they meet criteria for inclusion in our Gallery of Haldeman-Julius Pocket Series and Little Blue Book Wrappers, and new ones will be added in the event community feedback is being solicited during our ongoing research.

Example of Candidate Design Style 2012-02-24 - a

2012-02-24 - a

2012-02-24 - a

While certainly a distinct wrapper style, only one example has been found in the booklets reviewed to date. Whether or not the brief promotional description on the wrapper will prove common to booklets of similar design is unknown, but seems somewhat likely.

Example of Candidate Design Style 2012-02-25 - a

2012-02-25 - a

2012-02-25 - a

This wrapper conforms to very similar principles as the Illustrated & Attributed Named Design Style, save that a photograph is used instead of an illustration. Unfortunately, only one example has been found in the booklets reviewed to date.

Example of Candidate Design Style 2012-02-25 - b

2012-02-25 - b

2012-02-25 - b

While very similar to Candidate Design Style 2012-02-24 - a, the introduction of the row of triangles dividing the Book Title from the promotional description clearly differentiates it. How this form of Aesthetic Design Element might have been used on other wrappers is currently unknown as only one example has been found in the booklets reviewed to date.

Example of Candidate Design Style 2012-02-26 - a

2012-02-26 - a

2012-02-26 - a

This wrapper is believed to have been issued in 1967 or later, following the institutionalization of mandatory Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) codes on all mail sent via the United States Postal Service. Only one example has been found in the booklets reviewed to date.

Example of Candidate Design Style 2012-03-03 - a

2012-03-03 - a

2012-03-03 - a

An unusual design as the placement of the Book Number is atypical for wrappers that share other similar qualities. Whether the positioning relationship between Book Title and Book Number is common to other wrappers, or indicates a design style that allows for more ad hoc placement of the Book Number is unknown as no other examples of this treatment have yet been discovered.

Example of Candidate Design Style 2012-03-03 - b

2012-03-03 - b

2012-03-03 - b

The icons present on this wrap are obviously meant to symbolize the contents of this specific title. The question remains whether this was a unique treatment for this particular booklet, or whether it is representative of a more widely-used design style.

Example of Candidate Design Style 2012-03-06 - a

2012-03-06 - a

2012-03-06 - a

Likely this represents a new illustrated design style that presents both the Book Number and Attribution Statement on the wrapper. Additional examples of this treatment are required, however, in order to determine any specific rules that govern inclusion and/or presentation.

Example of Candidate Design Style 2012-03-08 - a

2012-03-08 - a

2012-03-08 - a

An argument could be made that this wrapper is merely an example of the Illustrated & Numbered Named Design Style, as it sports a Book Number but no Attribution Statement, even when the booklet contents were written by a sole author. The presence of the LBB acronym, however, is worthy of additional consideration. Should this be treated as an alternate presentation of the Series Declaration, or included as part of the Book Number? Further, the use of the number sign (#) instead of the traditional "No." abbreviation is also unusual and worthy of further thought.

Example of Candidate Design Style 2012-03-08 - b

2012-03-08 - b

2012-03-08 - b

This is obviously representative of a distinct design style, but as no other examples of this treatment have yet been discovered it cannot yet be classified as a new Named Design Style. Much like 2012-03-08 - a, the presence of the LBB acronym and the use of the number sign (#) instead of the traditional "No." abbreviation is worthy of additional consideration.

Example of Candidate Design Style 2012-03-15 - a

2012-03-15 - a

2012-03-15 - a

The feature to notice on this illustrated wrapper style is the small background "tag" set behind the Book Number. This is a potential new Aesthetic Design Element as it, or some remarkably similar variant, has been found on a variety of wrappers. At present, however, no clear rules can be determined regarding the wrappers they appear on. As an example, some have Attribution Statements while others do not, and it is currently unclear what influence the book contents have on this. A much larger sample group needs to be reviewed in order to determine whether wraps bearing this background "tag" are merely whimsical approaches to existing Named Design Styles, a unique style all their own, or a series of co-related styles.

Example of Candidate Design Style 2012-09-16 - a

2012-09-16 - a

2012-09-16 - a

Special thanks to Dr. William Palmer for bringing this design style to light! 2012-09-16 - a is a notable variation of the Knowledge of Life Named Design Style in that it sports an LBB Number on the front wrapper. To date, however, the only examples of booklets with this wrapper style have been LBB #655, an insufficent sample group for promotion to Named Design Style.

Evidence suggests that booklets with this design style emerged after the death of Emanuel Haldeman-Julius in 1951.

Next: Continuing Evaluation

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