“Penguin Press was founded in 2003 by Ann Godoff and launched its debut list in the Winter of 2004. Dedicated to publishing quality nonfiction and literary fiction, it has published numerous New York Times and national bestsellers, including four Pulitzer Prize winners: Steve Coll’s Ghost Wars, in 2005 for General Nonfiction; Liaquat Ahamed’s Lords of Finance, in 2010 for History; Ron Chernow’s Washington, in 2011 for Biography; and John Lewis Gaddis’s George F. Kennan, in 2012 for Biography. Books from Penguin Press have also earned prestigious prizes and citations such as the James Beard Award, the Orange Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Man Asian Prize, the Mark Lynton History Prize, the Arthur Ross Book Award, the Sidney Hillman Foundation Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Financial Times Goldman Sachs Business Book Award.”
Pentagram (New York, NY; Partner, Michael Bierut)
Penguin Press needed something simpler and more authoritative. With the publisher's blessing, the designers dropped the "The" and focused on working with the "PP" acronym, which is actually a difficult pair of letters to work with. The team soon recognized the similarity to ¶, the proofreader's symbol for a paragraph, which is called a pilcrow and consists of two "P"s in reverse. Using the same configuration provided a concise acronym that evoked the essence of what publishers sell: words turned into sentences turned into paragraphs.
The identity utilizes the font Balto Light, designed by Tal Leming. The lowercase "g" has been customized with a flat ear, to better complement the flat x-height of the wordmark. The identity has started appearing on book jackets and promotions, and is featured as a pattern on the Penguin Press Winter 2015 catalog.
Images (opinion after)
(I like how this project makes for a nice companion to today's Reviewed project). The old logo looked literary in a typical, expected fashion without any real graphic interest. The new logo is simple and clever, I immediately got the reference to the pilcrow and the concept pays off perfectly with the name. The wordmark is okay; feels a bit light on the spine application. Speaking of spines, that catalog spine is hot.