Hand Written Cover Concept for Games People Play

Below is the original hand written sketch for a possible cover of Game People Play:

Games People Play cover concept art by Eric Berne
The handwriting is without a doubt from by Eric Berne himself. The date on this is unknown, but is presumed to be around 1963, shortly before the publication of Game People Play.

Grove Press First Edition of Games People PlayThe cover of the first edition did not look quite like this. The first edition from Grove Press, as seen on the left, clearly states that the cover was designed by Roy Kuhlman who designed many other famous book covers for Grove Press in the 1960s.

We can assume that this cover concept was provided to Roy who then came up with a design that would be more appealing for a larger audience. According to Roy’s obituary, he was paid $50 for every cover he developed.

The first edition pictured to the left is a scan of the exact book Eric gave to his daughter Ellen. For a glimpse of this book in the 1960s, or at least how it was portrayed in the 1960s, check out this post which shows Games People Play being shown on the hit show Mad Men.


  1. sharadhakulamani says

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  2. philip Kai Morre says

    New post on Eric Berne pioneer work is a new year present for me. Thank you very much.

  3. This is spectacular to see it in his own hand! PAC to me has had a transformative affect in my life- thank you for this information that you have shared with us…