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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Penguin Celebrations series

First, I have to give credit where credit is due: I first read about this series the other day over at Galleycat.

This new "Celebrations" series comprises 36 titles; all of the categories (fiction, biography, etc.) are represented here.

What's great about these? Nothing, if you plant your feet firmly in the "nostalgia is a disease" camp. Lots, if you value simplicity and elegance in design and typography. No matter which side of the fence you're on, though, it's fascinating to read what Penguin's John Miles says in The Penguin Collectors' Society's Penguin by Designers about the original designs that inspired these: "No matter how grand or famous the author the typographic treatment was exactly the same. So Robert Graves got exactly the same treatment as a little-known writer of a crime novel." That's an amazing thing to contemplate and speaks to the power of the Penguin brand.



5 comments:

Readymade said...

Nostalgia's like chocolate eclairs. The first one's great, one more's nice, but too many and you just get sick.

This is probably supposed to evoke Jan Tschichold's re-design of the Penguin cover, but why not stick with the original Gill Sans? Futura looks out of place here somehow. (Or maybe it's just me)

ian s. said...

Read Penguin By Designers and Penguin by Design when you get a chance if you have not yet. The books give a wonderful insight into Penguin's development and design process over the years. Lot of trial and errors. But the goals were clear and the perseverance astounding. The end result is the continued success of one of the worlds most treasured publishing houses. And the work still shines more than ever.

Nate S. said...

I don't know if this link has been posted before, but everyone should check out www.davidpearsondesign.com; all the work on the site is for Penguin, and it's a nice glimpse into what they're doing these days.

Joseph said...

Nate: thanks. That's a great link.

ian s. said...

A great link it is. And it is fun to see this sort of dated design approach used for this new work. Kinda makes it timeless...