Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Penguin RED covers

Penguin is to release eight special editions from Penguin Classics series with specially designed artwork to celebrate a new partnership with (RED), the campaign to help eliminate AIDS in Africa.

Mr Christopher hearts Penguin design and three of the eight have been developed in-house. Strikingly, the title block is red rather than the conventional black, and the typographical visuals are quotations from each book. In a nod to the campaign branding, "Penguin Classics" is bracketed - a minor detail, but a nice touch.

House of Mirth is one of my favourite books, and the vintage Americana typefacing looks awesome, so ten points there. Bram Stoker's Dracula is fiercely dark and challenging - the text reads "His eyes were positively blazing. The red light in them was lurid, as if the flames of hell fire blazed behind them", but it takes a little work to make out. I also like the messy geometry on Conrad's Secret Agent, sprawling over the title block.

Here are the rest.

The only let-down for me is James' The Turn of the Screw - sparse, insipid and plain.

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