This letter was previously published only on the Ayn Rand Institute website.
10000 Tampa Avenue
July 11, 1946
Miss Ruth E. Meilandt
Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
1151 South Broadway
Los Angeles 15, California
Dear Miss Meilandt:
Thank you for the sketches of covers for ANTHEM, which you sent me.
The cover I have selected is sketch #6, but with an adaptation of my own which I am enclosing. I think #6 is the best for design, but I object very strongly to the drawing of the Grecian torch; it is much too conventional. What I would like to see in its place is the drawing of a flame, as I have indicated on my attempted version. To get the effect I have in mind (which would be excellent for the story and in keeping with it), I would like it to be the drawing of a stylized wind-blown flame—not a realistic conventional one. If the artist can do that, I think it would be very good. Also, I would urge very strongly that the oval be a single line, not too heavy, and that the letters of that title be drawn sharp and straight, not rounded as the artist has suggested. This makes the appearance of the jacket much stronger.
I do not care for sketch #5, because it is too crowded, because the odd lettering of the word ANTHEM makes it illegible at first glance, and because the torch is too conventional.
In order to have the cover right and not regret it afterwards, I would like very much to see the artist’s sketch of my suggestion before a cut is made from it. I will return it to you promptly.
I would also like to see a proof of the little advertising leaflet which Mr. Ingebretsen sent me.
As to the inquiry you received about purchasing a copy of WE THE LIVING, please tell the gentleman that the book is out of print now, and he can get a copy only by advertising for a second hand one; or he may still find it in the public library.
Miss Meilandt responded two days later that AR would shortly receive a revised sketch. The published edition replaced the drawing of the Grecian torch with a flame, as AR recommended.