Penguin’s Little Black Classics

Penguin art director Jim Stoddart has designed a set of monochrome Penguin books which celebrate the publisher’s 80th anniversary.

Little Black Classics

Fittingly there are 80 titles being published in the Little Black Classics series, all priced 80p each.

Penguin hopes that the 64-page books, which span different eras and genres, will be collected and shared. 

Little Black Classics

Readers will journey through everything from the streets of Victorian London in Henry Mayhew’s Of Street Piemen, to 13th-century Japanese blossom gardens in Kenko’s A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees.

Faced with so many books, which have so little to do with each other – apart from being classics of course – Stoddart has gone for a chic simplicity.

Little Black Classics

The design is a play on Penguin’s heritage and the publisher is calling on readers to “slip on a Little Black Classic and enjoy the celebrations”.

There’s obviously some LBD, LBC synergy here, but Stoddart says the impetus for the design is rooted in Penguin’s beginnings, rather then dresses.  

Little Black Classics

Stoddart says: “The design of the Little Black Classics chimes with Penguin’s heritage. The white panel across the middle and the centred tiling is a friendly wink to the original tri-band look of the 30s and 40s.”

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