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UAL Research Online

Penguin by Design: a Cover Story 1935-2005

Baines, Phil and Pearson, David (2005) Penguin by Design: a Cover Story 1935-2005. Penguin Press, London. ISBN 0713998393

Type of Research: Book
Creators: Baines, Phil and Pearson, David

'Penguin by design: a cover story 1935-2005' was commissioned to celebrate the company's 70th birthday.

Although certain periods of the company's history have been well-documented in the design press, this is the first comprehensive overview of their cover designs to be published.

The book draws heavily on the company's published archive at Rugby; the documentary archives of the company and its founder at the University of Bristol Library Special Collections; and interviews and email correspondence with many of the designers whose work featured in the book. I worked closely with the book's designer David Pearson to choose covers that represented the company's development, changing editorial policies and introduction of new series. Because of the period under discussion, the book also tells the evolving and wider story of the emergence of the discipline of graphic design in Britain from the confines of the printing trades.

To more fully inform the discussion of the cover designs and their specific stories, each period is contextualised by a description of company development generally and the external forces which influenced it.

Official Website: http://www.penguin.co.uk/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780713998399,00.html
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Phil Baines

Research Interests

Graphic design
Public lettering
Penguin Books

Current Research

My design practice includes high profile, one-off commissions; general graphic design for arts organisations; and type design. Underlying themes include an interest in history & experimentation, and in the relationship between form & content.

History & experimentation are most obvious in the award-winning Great Ideas cover designs for Penguin Books. Two series of these have been published (2004 & 2005) with a third is being prepared.

Ideas about form and content inform my approach to book and publication design and vary according to the requirements of a particular client. For some, my hand is almost invisible and the design arises out of careful collaborative discussions between myself, the gallery, and the artist or curator as appropriate; on other occasions, a more subjective approach is taken. Current work includes a books by Richard Layzell (for ResCen); about Alan Aldridge (for Thames & Hudson); and about Alison Turnbull's installation Vinus vitera L. at One Vine Street (for Matt's Gallery).

A commission by Neville Brody for his Fuse project in 1991 led me into type design, and that first font gained considerable notoriety, and subsequent wider exposure as a 'Fuse Classic' when released by Fontshop International. In 2003 Linotype released Vere Dignum. Other fonts are in various stages of production or feature in my own design.

My 'research' interests are of two main kinds. One strand is closely related to my practice and includes aspects of graphic design history. Penguin by design has become central to this research into different aspects of the company's design continues.

The other strand is an on-going photographic documentation of aspects of public lettering and signing. Much of this is a collaboration with Catherine Dixon and has resulted in articles, a book, website and many presentations. Current work includes documentation of the King's Cross railway lands.

Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Penguin Press
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 2005
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2009 09:21
Last Modified: 23 May 2011 11:04
Item ID: 1057
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1057

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