Collector’s Guides > Barnes & Noble Collectible Classics > Signature Editions

BN signature editions hestia header

The books in the leather-bound ‘Signature Editions’ collection under the Barnes & Noble Collectible Classics series were published between 2011 and 2012. Although they were advertised internally through booksellers as Signature Editions, the set is also known among collectors by a variety of other names such as ‘single volume classics,’ ‘young adult classics’ and ‘mid-level classics’. These books are slightly smaller in format than the standard leatherbound classics series (measuring around 8″ x 6″) and the titles were drawn from those classic novels that are typically studied by a middle grade or young adult audience as part of a school curriculum.

The beautiful cover artwork is by brilliant lettering artist Jessica Hische, whose work you may also have seen on the Penguin Drop Caps series. (If you like her work, she has also written a design book about her work called In Progress which is quite interesting). To keep the books feeling cohesive, she chose a typeface for the author’s name that is used consistently throughout the series, used borders on the front and back covers, and the spine design follows a uniform design with custom ornamentation for each title.

“One of the things that I find the most fascinating about this project is that there isn’t a logo or barcode in sight. The books feel perfectly modern but without all the ugly business-related adornments that modern book design usually entails.”

Jessica Hische, In Progress

Similar to the primary leatherbound classics series, the Signature Editions are bound in (bonded) leather, and feature raised bands on the spine, color dyed page edges, a printed design with two-color foil and detailed borders on the front and back of the hardback cover, marbled endpapers, and a silk ribbon bookmark bound in. The cover design art director for this series is Jo Obarowski with book design by Patrice Kaplan. The marbled endpaper pattern is by Julio Alcobendas.

BN signature vs flexibound austen sense sensibility
Above: Comparison between B&N Signature Edition on the left, Flexibound Edition on the right

There were 15 titles released in the Signature Editions collection, which has now been discontinued and all are out of print. The Signature series was replaced by the Flexibound Editions collection, which includes most of the same titles re-released with similar cover designs, slightly altered spines and a soft flexible cover instead of the hard leather boards used for the Signature Editions. Personally, I prefer the higher quality of the Signature editions over the Flexibound editions, but they mix and match perfectly well on a shelf and new titles will only be available in the Flexibound format going forward.


List of titles in the Signature Editions collection


bn carroll alice wonderland signature pair2
B&N Signature Edition of Alice in Wonderland, cover design by Jessica Hische

“Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice.

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by John Tenniel
Barnes & Noble/Sterling (2012), 9781435142886
240p. 5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d). OP$12.
→ OOP. Check availability at Amazon | Abes


BN dostoevsky crime punishment signature pair
B&N Signature Edition of Crime and Punishment, cover design by Jessica Hische

If he has a conscience he will suffer for his mistake. That will be his punishment – as well as the prison.

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Barnes & Noble/Sterling (2011), 9781435131828
560p. 5.82(w) x 8.56(h) x 2.17(d). OP$12.
→ OOP. Check availability at Amazon | Abes


BN wilde dorian gray signature pair
B&N Signature Edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray, cover design by Jessica Hische

If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that, for that, I would give everything!

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Barnes & Noble/Sterling (2011), 9781435129757
224p. 5.70(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d). OP$15.
→ OOP. Check availability at Amazon | Abes


BN shelley frankenstein signature pair
B&N Signature Edition of Frankenstein, cover design by Jessica Hische

You are my creator, but I am your master – obey!

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Barnes & Noble/Sterling (2012), 9781435136168
216p. 5.86(w) x 9.86(h) x 1.06(d). OP$12.
→ OOP. Check availability at Amazon | Abes


BN stoker dracula signature pair
B&N Signature Edition of Dracula, cover design by Jessica Hische

Listen to them the children of the night. What music they make!

Bram Stoker, Dracula

Dracula by Bram Stoker
Barnes & Noble/Sterling (2011), 9781435129733
408p. 5.80(w) x 8.34(h) x 1.64(d). OP$15.→ OOP. Check availability at Amazon | Abes


BN twain huck finn signature pair
B&N Signature Edition of Huckleberry Finn, cover design by Jessica Hische

It’s lovely to live on a raft.

Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Barnes & Noble/Sterling (2011), 9781435129726
312p. 5.74(w) x 8.34(h) x 1.34(d). OP$15.
→ OOP. Check availability at Amazon | Abes


BN twain tom sawyer signature pair2
B&N Signature Edition of Tom Sawyer, cover design by Jessica Hische

Tom was a glittering hero once more… There were some that believed he would be President, yet, if he escaped hanging.

Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Barnes & Noble/Sterling (2012), 9781435136151
224p. 8.46(w) x 5.59(h) x 1.14(d). OP$15.
→ OOP. Check availability at Amazon | Abes


bn dickens great expectations signature pair
B&N Signature Edition of Great Expectations, cover design by Jessica Hische

Now, I return to this young fellow. And the communication I have got to make is, that he has great expectations.

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Barnes & Noble/Sterling (2012), 9781435140707
520p. 6.06(w) x 8.34(h) x 2.10(d). OP$12.
→ OOP. Check availability at Amazon | Abes


BN hawthorne scarlet letter signature pair
B&N Signature Edition of The Scarlet Letter, cover design by Jessica Hische

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne
Barnes & Noble/Sterling (2011), 9781435131811
240p. 5.68(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.18(d). OP$20. 
→ OOP. Check availability at Amazon | Abes


BN bronte jane eyre signature pair
B&N Signature Edition of Jane Eyre, cover design by Jessica Hische

It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Barnes & Noble/Sterling (2011), 9781435129740
520p. 5.72(w) x 8.34(h) x 2.02(d). OP$15.
→ OOP. Check availability at Amazon | Abes


BN bronte wuthering heights signature pair
B&N Signature Edition of Wuthering Heights, cover design by Jessica Hische

Be with me always – take any form – drive me mad! Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!

Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Barnes & Noble/Sterling (2011), 9781435129764
336p. 5.68(w) x 8.62(h) x 1.46(d). OP$15.
→ OOP. Check availability at Amazon | Abes


BN alcott little women signature pair2
B&N Signature Edition of Little Women, cover design by Jessica Hische

The best of us have a spice of perversity in us, especially when we are young and in love.

Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Barnes & Noble/Sterling (2012), 9781435136137
528p. 5.86(w) x 8.54(h) x 2.02(d). OP$12.
→ OOP. Buy from Amazon | Abes


BN austen pride prejudice signature pair
B&N Signature Edition of Pride and Prejudice, cover design by Jessica Hische

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Barnes & Noble/Sterling (2011), 9781435127449
536p. 7.28(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.59(d). OP$15.
→ OOP. Check availability at Amazon | Abes


BN austen sense sensibility 9781435131804 2011

It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy; – it is disposition alone.

Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Barnes & Noble/Sterling (2011), 9781435131804
344p. 5.78(w) x 8.52(h) x 1.48(d). OP$12.

→ OOP. Check availability at Amazon | Abes


BN austen persuasion 9781435127432 2012

One man’s ways may be as good as another’s, but we all like our own best.

Jane Austen, Persuasion

Persuasion by Jane Austen
Barnes & Noble/Sterling (2012), 9781435127432
228p. 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d). OP$12.

→ OOP. Check availability at Amazon | Abes