Penguin’s Clothbound Classics

One thing I really appreciate (besides air condition and a thoroughly microwaved corn dog with no cold middle):

A well designed book cover.

Penguin Books always does an exceptional job with this. Their simple, grid layouts and attention to typography always made me think of 1950’s Swiss graphic design (you know…bold black shapes, splashes of red and lots of san-serif type that’s flush left/ragged right…usually Helvetica). But I think Penguin’s Clothbound Classics designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith is my favorite collection yet.

I always run into these at Borders or Hastings (back when Logan actually had a Borders) and would think “Finally, book covers that match its inner content!” Cause lets face it, as a designer I do judge a book by its cover and there’s no better feeling than picking up a Jane Eyre that actually feels like it was published in the 1800’s. This beautiful array of colors and quaint patterns will rosy-up any drab bookshelf. Delicate flowers for Jane Austen. A field of corn for Thomas Hardy. Clockwork for Charles Dickens. A geometry of waves for Homer. They remind me of expensive ties or pretty wrapping on scented candles.

And now, there’s even a cloth-bound edition of children’s books! Just when I thought these couldn’t get better.

One day, when I have my own little art corner or studio, I will have to buy a few of these. Even if it’s just for decoration.


7 thoughts on “Penguin’s Clothbound Classics

  1. Missy says:

    Those are absolutely lovely. You are right, book covers these days are usually not this artistic!

  2. fictionworms says:

    Oh, the last ones are just adorable! I want them on my bookshelf too :) Have you seen the books of A Series of Unfortunate Events (by Lemony Snicket)? They are really beautiful. Hardcover, illustrated and resembling old books. I love them! ♥

  3. Sugel says:

    Old Childrens books use pictures from old childrens books for wrapping!.

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