Penguin By Design Analysis

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In this chapter, I will be exploring the history of Penguin and their book covers/jackets, looking at the layouts and developments of design as the years progressed. Subsequently, I will be primarily looking towards Phil Banes’ Penguin by Design: A Cover Story 1935-2005, as, while it is not a comprehensive catalogue of the entirety of Penguin’s cover history, it contains the main pathways, showing the development of the brand along with their changes in design and the new series’ and prints that they brought to life. This book is not only influenced by Baines however, but also by David Pearson (designer for Penguin), who helped to curate the cover designs from the Penguin archives, and also informed by past employees and designers of the company …show more content…
13)). This meant that with even simple design work, a considered balance could be achieved from the very foundation of the books physicality. However, rather than using a combination of borders around the edge, as was done in the Albatross layout, Young created coloured bars in a tripartite design, resulting in bold, eye catching blocks sandwiching cream, which are still famously recognised today. This worked well with the format size of the book, as the thirds within the golden section were wonderfully balanced. The type layout design, along with the typeface choice, was in keeping with the style of the Albatross series; simple and clean, and was staggered evenly between the three coloured horizontal divisions. The type used for these designs was a mix of Bodoni Ultra Bold, a ‘faux nineteenth century revival’ (Baines, p. 19), which was used for the publisher’s name, while Gill Sans (still relatively new at the time (1927-8)) was used for the rest of the cover and spine content. The dustjackets of these books were identical to the covers, with the only exception being the price, which was only shown on the jacket. The first eighty titles from Penguin Books were printed with The Bodley Head publisher’s name on the covers, until Penguin separated and …show more content…
20). Considering that the staff were being overworked, it is to no surprise that some mistakes were made, especially with the typographic detailing, which became deficient, resulting in several titles using different variations of the Gill Sans type family, which can especially be seen in Siamese White by Maurice Collis in 1940, using a different version of the capital ‘W’ in the title (Baines, p. 20). While this may have been considered somewhat sloppy at the time, over the years, the books with these kind of mistakes have practically become collectable items, even in relation to the rest of Penguin’s classic horizontal grid covers, giving an almost tongue-in-cheek nostalgia for the time in which they were

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