Lulu Guinness

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but like the design of a record, a book cover can often be an integral part of your reading experience. Penguin knows this notion all too well and has delivered some breathtaking designs throughout the decades. For the 60th anniversary of their Classics imprint they asked a selection of creatives – including artist Sam Taylor-Johnson, fashion designer Paul Smith, and shoe designer Manolo Blahnik - to choose a favourite book from Penguin’s backlist and design it as they wished, creating some beautiful and extraordinary works of art in the process.


Striking design has been integral to the function of the book company since its conception. Founder Allen Lane hired German typography designer Jan Tschichold to give the books a uniform design style and revolutionise the paperbacks that we know and love today, designing what is considered to be the ‘classic’ Penguin cover. He famously created the Penguin Composition Rules and his structured book styles have become cult favourites with design lovers the world over. The best and most beautiful covers can lead people on a literary adventure they never anticipated, and can act as a 2D crystal ball, giving an insightful glimpse in to the humour, wit and plot of a novel.



Image credits: Shortlist – Penguin Books – Rifle Paper Co. – Imghoot – Photographer Stefan Sieler – Paramount Pictures – Penguin Random House