Long obsessed with the covers and interior illustrations of Nancy Drew Mystery Series, I did a little research into who was behind them.
While I could not find much info on the interior illustrations, (these pen and ink drawings were pulled from the earlier books, then reinstated in 1954 and are done by mostly uncredited artists) the covers I am drawn to are by a fairly well documented illustrator.
Rudy Nappi designed the covers from 1953 to 1979 and also did some of the revised covers for reprints of earlier stories. He changed Nancy to fit the era with a jeans, Peter Pan collars and shirt dresses. Nappi apparently did not read the books, but had his wife summarize each story before he began to paint.
Earlier covers show Nancy full body, later ones got a little more abstract with a focus more on Nancy’s head collaged with other elements from the story. Below are examples in chronological order and the style shift is very apparent.
I like the interior illustrations so much I used them to decorate my reading nook in my office.
For more on Rudy Nappi, click here.