Bentley chief designer Dirk van Braeckel has given
a Q&A about the special limited
edition of the upcoming
James Bond continuation novel "Devil
Q&A With Bentley Edition Designer
8th May 2008
In a unique collaboration between three
of Britain’s iconic
brands – James Bond, Bentley Motors and Penguin Books -
a special, limited edition of the new Bond book Devil
May Care will be published on 28th May. Click
here for full details.
Q&A with Chief
Designer at Bentley, Dirk van Braeckel
What was the design philosophy for the cover?
The design captures traditional craftsmanship qualities and techniques and
reveals design cues we are passionate about, while also paying homage to
the first edition Ian Fleming books. It was important that the design was
complimentary to both Bentley and Bond and the history behind both brands
meant that the book should be something to be admired and cherished forever.
How did you capture the spirit of Bond and the spirit
Marrying Bond and Bentley had to derive from themes that linked both entities:
passion, adventure and appreciation for the finer things in life. This helped
shape the book into an item which would please people through an element of
surprise but could also be admired as something which is unique and unobtainable
How does the use of materials reflect materials in Bentley cars?
The choice of materials had to demonstrate the high quality and
finishing evident in our cars. It was an opportunity to reflect
on historical themes, for example the fluting on the inside book
cover, along with the diamond stitching we use on the sport theme
seat covers today. The juxtaposition of metal and leather is
a theme we work with everyday, and is naturally explored in the
How did the idea for the pewter model Continental car come about?
Kate Whatmore, one of our young designers, is very proud of this
feature. She wanted the book to have a feel of sophistication
and history but to make it “Bond” it had to have
something that was a bit unexpected. The element of surprise
created from opening the book to find the car within allowed
us to carry the Bond–Bentley theme throughout. The model
car is handmade and numbered to the book, which makes it a
complete entity especially as the model is the car featured
in the book.
How closely did you work with Penguin?
Working with Penguin was a unique experience. We learned a lot from designing
around an unfamiliar product and certainly learned a lot technically about
Bentley craftsmanship in relation to a product other than a car. The people
we met and worked with from Penguin were very supportive and enthusiastic
about the prospect of the book, Bentley and Kate’s ideas for the design.
It was a very positive experience.
What challenges did you face in both design and production?
In all areas of design there are problems that challenge you as a designer
to produce the best solution you can. The feasibility of a design idea is
always the greater challenge to achieve the best aesthetics and quality.
Transferring our design knowledge from the car world to a book was a new
challenge for us, but working closely with Penguin, we think we have come
up with a unique product which is complementary to the history of Bentley
and Bond that can be appreciated by all audiences.
Who at Bentley was involved in the project?
We always start a project in the Bentley design studio by giving
all designers a chance to have an idea input and then proceed
with the selected work and the designer behind it. In this
case it was Kate Whatmore, our lady in exterior design, who
came up with the goods. Crispin Marshfield was at hand to help
with the right process to follow and link with Penguin. I,
as always, had the overview and the pleasure to select and
guide the ideas and take them to fruition.
Dirk van Braeckel, Chief Designer at
Bentley, studied at the Royal College of Art, one of the first
schools to specialize in car design. He then joined the Volkswagen
subsidiary Audi in 1984, and was drafted in to head up Bentley’s
design team when the VW group acquired the company in 1988. There
he created the groundbreaking design of the Bentley Continental
GT, launched in 2004 and one of the most successful sports coupes
of our times.
Only 300 copies of the Special Series edition
will be produced, costing £750 each, available exclusively
from the Penguin
James Bond books website. Penguin have also launched a special
micro-site for the Bentley edition.
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Hardback (Regular Edition) - Amazon USA
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