WANTED: Penguin 75

I’ve been in enamored with Penguin since I was little and used to peruse them in the local bookstore.  Even as I child I appreciated the simplicity of their designs and, of course, the penguin which has, to this day, a sophisticated playfulness that draws you in.  The book Penguin 75: Designers, Authors, Commentary (the Good, the Bad…) takes an in depth look at 75 of some of Penguin’s most successful books and includes interviews with not only the writers but the designers as well (yea!).

Below is a taste of what’s included.  This is definitely making my Xmas list.

Darren Haggar, Art Director:
One of the many beige covers that didn’t get approved in paperback. This was originally meant to be a total repackage from the hardcover, but nothing seemed to work. After months of pursuing alternative ideas – even commissioning a photo shoot (which I thought went really well) – I like to think the publisher took pity on me and went back to the hardcover design, tweaking the colors (removing the beige).

Moustafa Bayoumi, Author:
At first, the Arabic was all wrong. Needless to say, it didn’t endear me to the design. The text on the cover read from left to right, but Arabic is written from right to left. Arabic is cursive, as if the letters are holding hands in a chain, but here the letters were all separated, like lonely people afraid even to look at each other. And it took a while to realise this was supposed to be my book’s title in my mother tongue. The translation was entirely literal, the equivalent of the bad English found on signs in distant countries: Please don’t leave your values unattended.

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