A team of Penguin art directors and designers has commissioned a host of contemporary artists and illustrators to work on the series, which includes The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison and Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzerald.
Richard Bravery, senior designer at Penguin says, ‘Our approach is different to the Classics series approach; we’re trying to bring the books to a new audience so we’ve used contemporary artists from around the world and almost treated the titles as new books.’
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler features cover art by Australian typographer Georgia Hill.
Bravery says, ‘She painted on to glass and then shot at different locations – even under water, but it was starting to feel too conventional so she took a hammer to the glass and then start it re-piecing it to create a sense of violence.’
This is the second collection in the Essentials series – the first was published in 2011 and includes Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway and Anthony Bruges’ A Clockwork Orange.
The Penguin design team which worked on the series is art director John Hamilton, deputy art director Lee Motley, senior designer Richard Bravery and designer Gill Heeley.
The Penguin Essentials are published in paperback on 14 August priced £8.99 each.