In the last 75 years Penguin has created some of the most iconic book covers in history. Here we present a selection of 20 design classics.
Ever since Penguin published its first paperback in 1935, its covers have had a massive influence on British culture and design. More than 75 years on, they’re as popular as ever, with some book jackets even making it onto T-shirts, deck chairs, mugs and posters.
The creators of these iconic designs have ranged from typography legend Jan Tschichold to graphic designer Romek Marber. Over the years they’ve created memorable artwork for everything from new fiction to non-fiction, classics to collections, 'Specials' to short stories.
Evocative of the era in which they were produced, and featuring great illustration, design and typography, our collection offers an inspirational glimpse into the company's archive.
Here, we pick our first batch of favourite Penguin covers...
01. The Compleat Angler
DESIGNER: Edward Young
ILLUSTRATION: Richard Jefferies
COLLECTION: The Horizontal Grid
When Penguin first published these infamous horizontal grid designs, the roles of designer, art director and printer were very much blurred. Edward Young devised these covers as well as the Penguin logo itself. He went on to become the publisher's first production manager. The colours were used to indicate the book's subject matter. Initially, orange was used for fiction, green for crime, dark blue for biography, cerise for adventure, red for plays and in this case, yellow for psychological novels.