Monday, 28 June 2010

Puffin Magic

I've been wanting to post about this for a while, but my camera has been uncooperative until today--this was not a book I was going to press flat in the scanner. It's Phil Baines's Puffin by Design, designed by Tom Sanderson, a companion to 2005's Penguin by Design. And it's a beauty!




A comprehensive and beautifully illustrated to 70 years of some of the most gorgeous children's books in publishing, this book is heaven to anyone interested in book design. Have a look at some of the inner spreads (click every image in this post for much bigger versions).

 
Perhaps best of all, though, is that cover, designed by Tom Sanderson. It's a photo, not a manipulated image. Sanderson was kind enough to let me use this image of its construction.



Having read this, I have a deep urge to revisit the books of my youth. Looking through the covers collected here has reminded me of numerous books I loved when I found them on school library shelves, but which had vanished into the deep storage of my memory in the intervening years--books which, more often than not, I first took down from the shelf because of the cover art.

9 comments:

Daria Hlazatova said...

i'd love to have it! and it's great that the cover wasn't photoshopped. however good it may look, handmade composition has a completely different feel.

Matthew Adams said...

I actually have the otterbury incident and the house of sixty fathers, two of the covers you have shown in your selection, and both books haunt my memory (I haven't read them in case they loose that power. I re-read my side of the mountian a few years ago, and it lost something when I read it as an adult).

This looks like an excellent book, will have to get it for myself.

C. Pinheiro, EA ABA said...

I LOVE THIS! And the picture of the cover artist putting it all together is priceless. Who does real art like that anymore? Ah, creativity and ingenuity aren't dead, after all!

Anonymous said...

There's a cover of Stuart Little I'd never seen before. I want this book.

Robert Hanks said...

I've been meaning to get around to posting about Puffin by Design myself. I'm shocked, and pleased, to find how many of those books I still own: Stuart Little, Myths of the Norsemen, A Wrinkle in Time, Land of Green Ginger (great book), Wolves of Willoughby Chase; but now the pages fall out when I try to read them. I had a Puffin Comet in Moominland with a different cover - an empty landscape in muted, haunting colours - now long gone. I find it hard to think about the covers, though; they are too much part of my mental furniture.

JRSM said...

I had the same reaction--and 'The Land of Green Ginger' IS wonderful. I had to be stopped by my wife from naming a pet Boomalakka Wee,

ghrency said...

it's great


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thatcovergirl said...

Hi James! I just discovered Tom Sanderson's work and I'll be linking to this post tomorrow. It's a great write-up. I'm looking forward to looking through the rest of your posts. =)

JRSM said...

Thank you! I'm just looking at your blog now, and digging the 'Mare's War' cover.