Penguin Books is not one for resting on its design laurels. From its conception in 1935 it has consistently produced progressive and innovative design, creating iconic covers and eschewing complacency. With its place in the design pantheon firmly cemented, it nonetheless continues to design, supported by an understanding upper management that is keen to nurture creativity.
Ongoing initiatives include the Penguin Design Award, which rewards young design talent. Imprint Penguin Press has the goal of publishing more good design writing in the vein of Deyan Sudjic’s The Language of Things and the Penguin on Design series, and all divisions continue to produce surprising and desirable books. For its 70th anniversary Penguin Press and Penguin General art directors Jim Stoddart and John Hamilton invited 70 designers, including Alan Aldridge and Derek Birdsall, to create the covers of 70 special-edition Pocket Penguins.
The publisher continues to build on its legacy this year, again marking its 75th anniversary by reissuing seminal novels from the 1950s to the 1980s with cover art by high-profile artists and designers.
But it’s not just in print that Penguin blazes a trail. Its digital arm has been driving UK publishing’s online bandwagon for some time, pushing the use of electronic platforms. With the emergence of e-readers and iPhone applications maturing, expect more excellence in print and online.