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Penguin Classics’ new look

Penguin Classics rolled out a new design for their covers in Januray. I recently saw some titles in a bookstore and they are really striking. The design accomplishes exactly what such a redesign requires: to appeal to contemporary taste while also properly representing the whole idea of classical culture, namely the books themselves. The black panel is really striking, and the Futura is just the right weight. M-mm good, I say!

See and read more history of the original series here.

Related: Dean Allen’s account of Penguin’s design standards on textism.com, as noted on Typographi.ca.

Also: Some time ago I came across a pack of Penguin 60th Anniversary playing cards, with various original cover designs on them. Here are some samples.

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PUBLISHED ON Jan.31.2003 BY Sam
Jon’s comment is:

Any idea who did the cover redesign? Any time I see Futura used well I just assume it's Pentagram.

On Jan.31.2003 at 01:36 PM
Sam’s comment is:

Just called Penguin--the design is by Paul Buckley, who is in-house at Penguin in the New York office.

On Jan.31.2003 at 01:50 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Great! Now I have a reasonable excuse to stop at borders on the way home.

The new covers are beautiful. You are right Jon, it looks very Pantagramy. The photos have such great contrast against the black. And it's hard to see Futura used well anymore.

The web site got a redesign too, right? It wasn't like that last week. The penguin logo really shines on that black background.

Those old school covers are so retro. Retro I say!

On Jan.31.2003 at 02:08 PM
Jon’s comment is:

You go "in-house"!

On Jan.31.2003 at 02:14 PM
KM’s comment is:

Very nice! I visited the link to the history of the original series and didn't see them mention Jan Tschichold. Did I miss something?

On Feb.01.2003 at 07:33 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>Did I miss something?

That was here.

On Feb.04.2003 at 01:34 PM
Kiran Max Weber’s comment is:

Publishers Give Classics a Makeover Registration required.

Speak Up beats The New York Times to it. Right on!

On Feb.10.2003 at 10:15 AM
Sam’s comment is:

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about!

Interesting to see the dollars attached to this redesign, and the importance of the Classics line in terms of sales. Thanks Kiran.

On Feb.10.2003 at 10:48 AM
Armin’s comment is:

I'll have to agree. Great article. Another great case study for the importance of Graphic Design.

On Feb.10.2003 at 11:19 AM