Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Penguin Australian Classics

As my country stumbles dickheadedly into the shitbin, a population of bigots and morons led by a government of mendacious and vindictive arseholes, it's nice to have one small positive to note: the design of the Penguin Australian Classics series. This (supposedly ongoing) series of smallish hardbacks have their cover designs printed directly onto the boards.

Designed by Adam Laszczuk, with illustration by Josh Durham, they make use of fields of flat (yet lightly weathered or textured) colour and sharp-edged illustrative elements. Click on each image for much, much bigger versions.

Note that all of these books were already in print from Penguin Australia, some as Penguin Modern Classics: I hope future entries in the series will rescue out-of-print titles from oblivion, as does the sterling Text Classics series.

Broadview Shakespeare

Canadian academic publisher Broadview has a strong line of classics, including a number not available elsewhere. It's just a shame that their books, while usually featuring well-chosen images, have a slightly fusty, clunky style to the designs:

So it was a positive pleasure to come across the redesign of their Shakespeare series. In a style reminiscent of Melville House's Neversink Library (single-colour background, well-chosen silhouettes), they also deploy well-chosen quotes from the plays in nice, big text. The design work is by Michel Vrana (who also did the Thomas Berger covers in this post)..

The choice of silhouettes that that are metaphorical (lion) or even jokey (the pursuing bear) add to the cleverness.