I first read James Bond as a 12-year-old, mostly in Pan mass-market paperback editions, certainly with trashy covers. The novels been through a variety of styles and aims since then, up to and including Penguin Modern Classics, the latter with their quality images and silver jackets. I've re-read all of the series at sometime, including in the pulp-fiction-style US paperback and that Classic series, both from Penguin. This month sees another branding as a "trilogy", three novels which feature the Bond ovillain Blofeld. With a nice skull and a three-bar gold design (linking in with Goldfinger) the cover looks in the Classic tradition.
I'd love to do some fiction design, and something for this kind of book. So here's my imagined design theme for a series: gunmetal-grey (well, lighter, but let's call it gunmetal), each with a movie-still cutout, a quote from the book, a Walther PPK barrel-snout end-on, with a drift of gunsmoke. The back covers list the name of the Bond girl and the Bond villain in that novel novel. And each spine would have a letter to spell out JAMES BOND 007, which is the right number of letters and spaces for the books that Ian Fleming originally wrote. All just for my own entertainment, I emphasise (until, of course, somebody wants a new series designed…)
Below: Pan Books' cover as I read it; reimagined US Penguin editions went pulp-style; a Penguin Modern Classic trilogy; the cover of the new trilogy