If you’re interested in books, and book cover design in particular, don’t miss The Beauty of Books (episode four) on BBC iPlayer. It discusses paperback cover design from the 1930s to the present day with a focus on Penguin Books.
Originally, hardback covers were produced to protect the pages of a book and to stop them falling out. They said more about the wealth of the owner than the contents. Over time, the covers started to gain decorative elements such as embossing and foil blocking.
Once paperbacks started to be published (and bought in vast quantities by the public) the power of typography and image was realised – and monetised.
David Pearson is one of the talking heads featured. Not only is he very familiar with the Penguin archive but is also an extremely talented cover designer himself. He is well qualified to talk about the cover designs of Nineteen Eighty Four as he has designed one himself..
There’s also a very interesting interview with David Pelham, designer of the iconic and menacing Clockwork Orange cover, which shows what can happen behind the scenes once a graphic designer is involved.
At the time of writing, you can view the programme here.
Treat yourself to a look at David’s work.
When he’s not designing books David is an occasional teacher. His next Book Cover Design Masterclass takes place at the Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft over the weekend of 18 and 19 September. Find out more and book tickets.
About the author
Annette Peppis leads the team at Peppis Designworks, a creative hub of established publishing industry experts. We create books, branding, marketing material and design templates for leading publishers and businesses. Keep in touch by subscribing to Annette’s bi-monthly emails.