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Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Atomic Radiation

Design by Bruce Robertson

Finding it a little hard to get to the bookstore lately, so I turn once again to the incredible Seven Hundred Penguins. Predictably, it didn't take long to find an example of what has made Penguin such a great publisher over the years.


Published in 1964, The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Atomic Radiation is a fantastic example of how two colors and geometry can jump out and kick your photo-illustrated cover's butt.

(And if anyone knows more about Penguin's "Intelligent Woman's Guide" series, please share with the rest of us. I found only one other reference to it: George Bernard Shaw's The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism.)

5 comments:

YuppiePunk said...

We did a whole feature on these great looking books not too long ago:
http://www.yuppiepunk.org/2006/10/cheap-books-killer-looks.html

Penguin has great designers!

Love this site. Thanks!

ian shimkoviak said...

While I do like these from a nostalgic perspective and really enjoy Helen Yentus' geometric explorations for the Camus covers as of recent, I do feel that this was sort of a trend and modernist exploration of graphic design. Lets see how abstract and simple we can make the covers graphic message. But on a progressive note, these kind of design could have been coupled with just about any title and still work in the same way.

I do see the atomic burst or energy aspect of this, but it still does not convince me as a superior solution to photo-based covers. At least not in this particular case... for me.

ian shimkoviak said...

Kind of reminds me of Kidds work for Vertical press for the Ring series...

I wonder where he got inspired for those???

JRSM said...

As I understand it, "The Intelligent Womean's Guide..." was not a series. Shaw wrote his book in 1928, and I assume this (nice-looking) book was playing off that title.

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