Thursday, 10 April 2008

Great Ideas Round 3

When the first two sets of Penguin Great Ideas were released, book design devotees swooned unanimously, as they did to the follow-up Great Loves and Great Journeys series.

Well, Penguin are planning a third Great Ideas series to appear in August 2008, and some of the covers have been shown online. The first two series used red/black and cyan/black colour schemes. This series uses green and black. Click for more detail.



The colour scheme and the titles of the middle two shown above (Concerning Violence and The Spectacle of the Scaffold) make me think of the old Penguin Crime paperbacks (see some here).



A few I'm not quite sure about yet, but on the whole this looks to be another wonderful-looking set of books. I'm not certain who designed them, but I suspect it was David Pearson.

By the way, the Great Ideas series seems also to have been taken up in Germany, with some different titles. David Pearson shows his covers for that series here.

6 comments:

John Self said...

Terrific! And better covers, I think, than the blue second run. In the end I had to whittle down my reds and blues to just those that (a) I really did think I might actually read, and/or (b) had covers which were completely irresistible. It's a shame not to have the full sets any longer, but space is always pressing...

Marc said...

The Foucault cover immediately reminds me of the old Evergreen edition of Melville's Confidence-Man. The design of this series has indeed been great, but I don't imagine ever getting any of them: why settle for an extract when you can get the whole book?

JRSM said...

I know what you mean, Marc: I've only bought the ones that contain complete texts, rather than abridged extracts--the latter seems to go against the whole ethos Penguin started with.

Marc said...

I don't know the best place to post a general comment to you, JRSM, but I am thoroughly enjoying your blog, and am in the middle of reading all of it in order, from the beginning. (Which is why I just now commented on a posting from a year ago.) Keep it up!

Marc said...

I looked at my old copy of Melville's Confidence Man, and that cover for the Foucault book is indeed a direct homage (appropriation?) of one of the very first Roy Kuhlman cover designs for the old Grove Press/Evergreen series (I think the Melville may have been the first one).

JRSM said...

Thank you, Marc, it's much appreciated. I'm going to have to track down those early Evergreen covers--certainly other Great Ideas covers are direct homages to other early cover designs.