1. Bentley Chief Designer Discusses Limited Edition 'Devil May Care'

    By Matt Weston on 2008-05-07

    Yesterday, brought you the first details and images of the unique Special Series edition of Sebastian Faulks’ eagerly awaited James Bond novel, Devil May Care.

    Limited to 300 copies worldwide, this luxury limited edition is inspired by the original 007 hardcovers of the 1950s and 1960s combined with the Bentley owner’s manuals of the era. The book will retail for £750 and will be available exclusively through

    Today, we bring you a brand new Q&A with Bentley’s Chief Designer, Dirk van Braeckel, as he discusses how Penguin and Bentley developed this one of a kind collector’s item.

    Devil May Care - Special Series Edition

    Devil May Care – Special Series Edition interior

    What was the design philosophy for the cover?

    The design captures traditional craftsmanship qualities and techniques and reveals design cues we are passionate about, while also paying homage to the first edition Ian Fleming books. It was important that the design was complimentary to both Bentley and Bond and the history behind both brands meant that the book should be something to be admired and cherished forever.

    How did you capture the spirit of Bond and the spirit of Bentley

    Marrying Bond and Bentley had to derive from themes that linked both entities: passion, adventure and appreciation for the finer things in life. This helped shape the book into an item which would please people through an element of surprise but could also be admired as something which is unique and unobtainable to everyone.

    How does the use of materials reflect materials in Bentley cars?

    The choice of materials had to demonstrate the high quality and finishing evident in our cars. It was an opportunity to reflect on historical themes, for example the fluting on the inside book cover, along with the diamond stitching we use on the sport theme seat covers today. The juxtaposition of metal and leather is a theme we work with everyday, and is naturally explored in the design.

    How did the idea for the pewter model Continental car come about?

    Kate Whatmore, one of our young designers, is very proud of this feature. She wanted the book to have a feel of sophistication and history but to make it “Bond” it had to have something that was a bit unexpected. The element of surprise created from opening the book to find the car within allowed us to carry the Bond-Bentley theme throughout. The model car is handmade and numbered to the book, which makes it a complete entity especially as the model is the car featured in the book.

    How closely did you work with Penguin?

    Working with Penguin was a unique experience. We learned a lot from designing around an unfamiliar product and certainly learned a lot technically about Bentley craftsmanship in relation to a product other than a car. The people we met and worked with from Penguin were very supportive and enthusiastic about the prospect of the book, Bentley and Kate’s ideas for the design. It was a very positive experience.

    What challenges did you face in both design and production?

    In all areas of design there are problems that challenge you as a designer to produce the best solution you can. The feasibility of a design idea is always the greater challenge to achieve the best aesthetics and quality. Transferring our design knowledge from the car world to a book was a new challenge for us, but working closely with Penguin, we think we have come up with a unique product which is complementary to the history of Bentley and Bond that can be appreciated by all audiences.

    Bentley Special Edition

    The Special Series edition of Devil May Care will be published alongside the regular edition on 28 May, 2008.

    Stay tuned to for all the latest Devil May Care news in the weeks leading up to its publication.