22 November 2006

Penguin Book Covers

If you're interested in typography, graphic design, bibliography, collecting books, or just cultural nostalgia, this book is an absolute treat. It's a beautifully illustrated history of the cover designs used for the Penguin imprint from its creation in 1935 to the present. Penguins were first sold for sixpence (2.5p) which was the price of a packet of ten cigarettes. That's cheap by today's standards when ten fags cost £2.70 but a typical Penguin costs twice that. Right from the start, Penguins were marketed via the elegance and consistency of their cover designs, with their easily recognisable orange covers and their perky logo. And it's no accident that Penguin was (and still is) such a successful imprint. Its founder Allen Lane employed some of the most gifted graphic designers and ... Read more >>



skipper said...

Agree Penguin are a brilliant publisher and that they did some interesting, very rapid productions in the 30s and the war. Fellow travellor DN Pritt's apologia for the USSR's attack on Finland, Light on Moscow, was written in two days(he told me in an interview in the late sixties) and published in a week.

Roy said...

I agree Skipper - and it might be an interesting project to make a collection of those current affairs title published in the late 1930s - though of course the views expressed in them (like Pritt's) might be an embarrassment viewed with sixty-odd year's hindsight.