The design team at Bentley worked closely with Hodder & Stoughton to capture the spirit of Bond and Bentley. A team of seven designers submitted proposals for the edition and the final design came from Bentley Senior Designer Brett Boydell. He comments: “As a designer it doesn’t get much better than a brief of ‘Carte Blanche’! The design features radical concepts that we feel reflect the name of the book, the ideas inherent in the Bond legacy, and the design principles we are passionate about.”
This special edition links the legendary hero with the iconic automobile in the most spectacular way. Each copy of the special edition is custom-produced to Bentley’s exacting standards and arrives inside a stunning metal case. The result is a striking and unique collector’s item. The special edition is strictly limited to 500 copies worldwide at a price of £1,000 each. They will be available to pre-order worldwide through www.007carteblanchebentley.com. The editions will be delivered after publication date.
Like the exterior of the GT, the case is made from polished aluminum, giving it a seamless and aerodynamic shape. More sculpture than car, it evokes the GT’s signature outline, its metal skin making it look like the car has risen from the desert sand. To ensure the finished case meet Bentley’s renowned standards of quality, an automotive supplier was employed to create the case to automotive standards using a specially commissioned machine.
In deference to the title Carte Blanche, the book itself is bound in white Nappa leather, the same outstanding grade of leather used in a Bentley’s interior, mimicking the interior of the GT with its contrast of white leather trim and Pillar Box red edging. The title, author’s name and the familiar wings of the Bentley logo are carefully embossed into the front and foil-blocked onto the spine. The text is printed in two colors, black and red, on sumptuous ivory paper, with endpapers of a matching red leather. The pages are expertly cut and trimmed to reflect the handcrafted techniques of the Bentley construction process. As with the other details of the special edition, the colors are carefully selected from the Bentley range. The book sits on a base of black anodized aluminum, chosen not to mark the white leather.
In one last twist, playing on the idea of an agent being given Carte Blanche, is one of the most dramatic features of the design: a die-cut bullet hole that pierces pages of the book. Hidden within the pages is a single polished 9mm bullet, individually marked with a number distinct to each copy, making the edition truly unique.
Brett Boydell adds: “Bond destroys as well as he creates and saves. It was this element I needed to convey in my design. The reader has the excitement of finding the bullet housed in the centre of the pages with the text positioned so that the reading experience is undisturbed. I hope they find the book as exciting to hold and look at as the unfolding drama itself.”