Friday 5 February 2010

This is How to Do It

You're a publisher printing a series of classic books to raise money for AIDS relief (through the (RED) organisation). You want them to be eye-catching and beautiful. You make them look like these--absolutely stunning. (Click for huge versions.)


I asked Jim Stoddart, Art Director at Penguin Press, about who did each cover and how they came about. This is what he had to say: "We’re starting with a series of 8 titles in this collaboration with the Aids awareness fund (RED), with the prospect of putting more titles into this series in the near future. Each cover switches the usual black of Penguin Classics for the (RED) red and instead of using an image we’re using a quote from the text of the book, and I’m aiming to commission a unique typographer for each cover."

The designers responsible are as follows:
Anna Karenina designed by Fuel
Dracula designed by Non-Format
Great Expectations designed by Stefanie Posavec (Penguin Press Art Dpt)
The House of Mirth designed by Nathan Burton
Notes From Underground designed by Gray318 (Jon Gray)
The Secret Agent designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith (Penguin Press Art Dpt) (interviewed here)
Therese Raquin designed by Jim Stoddart (Penguin Press Art Dpt)
The Turn of the Screw designed by Studio Frith

I promised myself I would not buy books I already owned even if the new covers were amazing. But then again, this is for charity...


JVK said...

Wow! "His eyes"...

Quinn said...

Brilliant. They remind me of the Great Ideas covers, which I love endlessly.I can also relate to your dilemma regarding books you already own! Anyway, gorgeous stuff.

Rex Parker said...


Moira Russell said...

Those are gorgeous.

J. said...

I love them all! My favorite is Anna Karenina and my least favorite is Dracula (I had a bit of trouble deciphering the text).

Diana Raabe said...

Well, I'm still kicking myself for not buying the Penguin Deluxe Designer covered editions of Lady Chatterley's Lover, Tender is the Night, and others which are no longer available... so if you think you might want even one of these - don't hesitate.

Laura Ottina said...

Love these! I always appreciate creative type and a strong black-red-white palette.

Craig D. said...

I love the "quotes on the cover" idea and would like to see more of it, but some of these are a little too creative for their own good. The Stoker cover would be great if it didn't look like the blackboard in a geometry class. It reminds me of those black metal bands with logos that are completely unreadable. Why not take advantage of the epistolary idea and make the cover a page in Harker's diary? With the quote that you want to catch the eye written in dripping blood, perhaps. A bit cliché maybe, but anything's better than something that makes you stare at it for several minutes trying to decipher what the hell it says. The Dostoyevsky cover's also a bit much, but I love the Conrad cover.

Speaking of Stoker, the cover on my cheap paperback copy is great:

I'm not fond of the cover on my copy of The New Annotated Dracula, though:

They couldn't do any better than ripping off the logo of the 1992 movie?