Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The Legend of the Winged Elephant

In January, we announced the launch of a monthly video series—Conversations with Peter Mayer—to share some of the lesser known stories about the inception of the Overlook Press and to discuss the publishing industry over the last 40 years. Last month, our publisher Peter Mayer talked about the book that originated the Overlook Press, a small operation which started out of his family home in Woodstock, New York. Forty-one years, hundreds of books, and one downtown Manhattan office later, that little business continues to thrive and grow.

Aside from Peter Mayer himself, a constant presence throughout Overlook’s history has been that of our beloved wingéd elephant. Today we bring to you the tale of this inspired logo which has graced the spines of Overlook books since 1941. You may already know that this high-flying colophon was designed by the legendary graphic designer Milton Glaser. But do you know why an elephant was chosen to watch over our eclectic press? Or how our elephant sprouted wings? Prompted by an inquiry from the Publishing Trendsetter, we thought it was time to reveal this long held mystery. It may have been forty-one years ago that the idea for this flying pachyderm was born, but don’t you know that an elephant never forgets? Play the video below to get the full scoop from the man who started it all.

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