Carte Blanche: a limited edition James Bond book created by Bentley

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 25, 2011

Hodder & Stoughton, publisher of the new James Bond book by Jeffery Deaver, has teamed up with Bentley Motors to produce an exclusive Bentley special edition. This is the ultimate luxury edition created for the highly anticipated new James Bond adventure.

This partnership is part of the launching of the book entitled Carte Blanche on May 26, 2011. Starting April 26, 2011, a month before the launch of the novel, one can already submit a pre-order for one of the 500 limited edition copies at a price of £1,000 each.

This Bentley special edition is expected to create a huge demand from all over the world especially after Bentley’s collaborative custom-produced book sold out within days for the Devil May Care, the previous Bond novel by Sebastian Faulks. Ian Fleming always admired the impressive look of the Bentley; thus, James Bond owned three Bentleys over the course of the 14 original Bond novels.

In Carte Blanche, Bond will be reunited wit the iconic automobile in the most impressive way. He will be driving the new sophisticated and beautifully sculptured Bentley Continental GT. Bentley’s design team of seven members and Hodder & Stoughton are working closely to capture the essence of Bond and Bentley.

The Bentley special edition case gets its inspiration from two things: the Dubai deserts, an exotic location where Bond appears in as mentioned in the new novel; and the latest Bentley Continental GT, his car of choice.

The case, just like the GT exterior, has a polished aluminum finish that gives it a seamless, aerodynamic shape. More of design than body, it recalls the GT’s signature silhouette with its metal covering, looking as if the car has emerged from desert sand. To make sure that the case conforms to the well-known quality standards of Bentley, the company hired an automotive supplier to make the case in keeping with automotive standards by means of a specially made machine.

With regard to the Carte Blanche title, the book itself is covered in white Nappa leather, the same excellent grade used in the Bentley interior, copying the GT interior that has a contrasting white leather trim plus red edging on the Pillar Box. The title, name of author and the famous wings of the brand’s logo are embossed in front as well as foil-blocked on the spine. The text has a 2-color black and red print on lavish ivory paper with matching red leather endpapers.

The pages are skillfully cut and trimmed, reflecting the handcrafted techniques used in Bentley’s construction process. When it comes to other details concerning the special edition, colors are carefully chosen from the Bentley series. The book is placed on the black anodised aluminium base to avoid marking the white leather.

In a final twist, one of the design’s most dramatic features: a die-cut bullet hole piercing the book’s pages is based on the concept of an agent provided with Carte Blanche. Within its pages, a polished 9mm bullet is hidden, exclusively marked with a number to distinguish its copy to make the edition the only one of its kind.

Brett Boydell said that Bond destroys, yet also creates and saves. So, Boydell needed to convey this element in his design. Readers will be thrilled to find the bullet hidden in the center pages and the text positioned in such a way that they will have an uninterrupted reading experience. He hopes that they will find it exciting to hold and read the book just like watching the unfolding drama.

Press Release


To celebrate the release of Carte Blanche, the new James Bond book by Jeffery Deaver, on May 26 2011, publisher Hodder & Stoughton has partnered with Bentley Motors to create an exclusive Bentley special edition: the ultimate luxury edition of the highly anticipated new James Bond adventure. The 500 limited edition copies are available for pre-order from today, Tuesday 26 April 2011, exactly a month before publication date. Huge worldwide demand is anticipated for this new special edition after Bentley's collaborative bespoke book for the previous Bond novel, Devil May Care, by Sebastian Faulks, sold out within days.

Ian Fleming always admired the stately beauty of the Bentley and, as a result, James Bond owned three Bentleys over the course of the 14 original Bond novels. In Carte Blanche, award-winning thriller writer Jeffery Deaver reunites Bond with this classic marque. In this contemporary adventure, the agent will be behind the wheel of the beautifully sculpted and sophisticated new Bentley Continental GT.

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 The editions will be delivered after publication date.

The Design:

The case of the Bentley special edition is inspired by the deserts of Dubai – one of the exotic locations Bond finds himself in within the new novel – and the new Bentley Continental GT, Bond's car of choice in the book.

Like the exterior of the GT, the case is made from polished aluminium, 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 colours, 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 colours are carefully selected from the Bentley range. The book sits on a base of black anodised aluminium, 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."

Topics: bentley

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