Sunday, October 7, 2012

Those beautiful covers from Penguin

What better way for a publisher to celebrate it's 75th anniversary than to come up with a retrospective of some of its memorable cover designs, no? Penguin did exactly just that, coming out with a visually stunning book on some of their covers with commentaries from the author, the designer, and the creative director.

Buying this book was a no-brainer for me. It's no secret that I'm a Penguin junkie. And I was curious as to the actual process that goes with the generation of Penguin's beautiful covers.

Penguin 75, which is edited by no less than Penguin's Executive Vice President Creative Director Paul Buckley, is a very eye-opening book. It shows you the interesting dynamic between the author and the creative team. Some of the stories included in the book are quite funny actually. Below, I picked a few from the 75 books contained in this collection.

The author, Jim Powell, thought that this cover was brilliant.
The designer had a different opinion though,
saying that the yellow he used looked a bit washed out. 

This cover is just too beautiful.
The elements (i.e., the portrait, the tree, the dark atmosphere)
work really well in telling you about the books of these 3 Bronte sisters. 

The small leftmost image is the hardback cover,
and the small red one is the rejected paperback cover.
For the approved paperback design, the designer simply used the 
image of the original cover, which was an actual photo.

I've never read a Durrell.
But these designs want me to head to the bookstore
and buy all these copies. 

The cover for Gilbert's nonfiction work was hell to work on.
They had to do the photo shoot twice because of poor lighting.
And the petals used to form 'love' easily wilted, so they had to work fast. 

The estate of Ian Fleming wanted no female nudes nor images of 
James Bond when Penguin was designing this series.
However, they did manage to sneak in a couple of naked women. 

The designer of The Canterbury Tales wanted a design 
that wouldn't come off as boring.
He actually wants the readers to guess the characters 
he placed on the cover. 

I think this is very edgy, yes?
What comes to your mind when you see 
a teddy bear shagging a doll?

The designer was somewhat concerned that the pink color used 
for the transvestite sleuth in this mystery series might seem offensive.
Good thing that they decided to stick with it, as the cover is quite arresting. 

Sometimes, all one needs for a captivating design 
are a solid color and beautiful typography. 

Penguin is particularly proud of their Penguin Classics,
which is the line that they're famous for.
But because of the limited print-runs for these titles,
all these designs are done in-house. 

This is one of my favorites.
The images used are perfect for the title. 

William T. Vollman sent this waiver and invoice to Penguin
when he photographed 3 prostitutes for the cover of his book below.

 They had to hide the prostitutes' faces because of 
legal issues.

In the cover on the right, notice the man who seems to be 
running away from something.
Penguin actually used one of the designers 
to serve as a model (small leftmost image).

Beautiful illustrations used in one of Penguin's short story anthologies


Overthinker Palaboy said...

ser, magkano siya?

Aldrin said...

Where did you get this book? Is it available locally? Must. Get. It. Too.

Peter S. said...

Hi, Aldrin and Overthinker Palaboy! I bought my copy at Bangkok.

Tina said...

Hadn't seen this one.. Thanks for the heads looks like a definite TBR.

Peter S. said...

Hi, Tina! Yes, definitely!

Monique said...

Oh my goodness, laughed out loud at the image of the teddy bear shagging a doll!

I want to have this book, too. I wasn't very particular about book covers before, but I've acquired the ka-OC-han na pala without knowing it! Haha. :)

Kane said...

I think is is fascinating. One time, my friend and I were talking about how much or how little a book cover influences our decision to purchase a book.

And I loved the last photo. =)


Peter S. said...

Hi, Monique! LOL! Long live OCs!

Hello, Kane! No matter how much we think otherwise, cover designs have a huge role when we buy books.

Arabella said...

Love the illustrations. One of my favourite penguins is an edition of The Chrysalids, with a weird insect alien that has nothing to do with the novel, not because it is a good cover more because it is possibly one of the worst covers ever and yet I am rather fond of it but it is definitely not an example of how good a penguin cover can be.

Peter S. said...

Hi, Arabella! They recently reissued some of the novels of John Wyndham, and the covers are just too beautiful!

Jace said...

Pedobear has taken over books o_o :nothing to do here:

Penguin always makes great covers though.

Peter S. said...

Yes, I agree. I've never met a Penguin cover that I didn't like.

Anonymous said...

Book Porn! Thanks for sharing. So should I fly to Bangkok to get this? :D

Peter S. said...

Yes, Angus!

Rise said...

I quite liked the cover of The Vivisector by Patrick White. It's, uhm, eye-opening.

Peter S. said...

Hahahahaha. 'Eye opening' indeed!

Gem said...

I've always love the cover design of Penguin books! They're always beautifully designed or illustrated. I'm also fond of the quality of the paper they use.