Penguin Books

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The imprint Penguin Books was co-founded in 1935 by Sir Allen Lane, with his brothers Richard and John. It is said that Lane thought of the idea of cheap mass-produced paperback books when he discovered that he had nothing to read on a rail journey. With the introduction of high quality fiction and non-fiction paperback books, Penguin revolutionised publishing in the 1930s. The books were sold for 6d throught outlest like W H Smith and Woolworth.

Lane had already decided on an animal as the motif, and when a penguin was suggested, the first designer Edward Young went straight off to the zoo to spend the rest of the day drawing penguins in every pose. The clear logo was matched with the archetypal modern typeface, Gill Sans, and the  three-band cover in different colours for different genres.


Later, the Pelican and the Puffin were introduced


After 1945, with the easing of the restrictions on the use of paper, the imprint began to succumb to the visual demands of the market, and retain the logo only in miniature. These examples are from 1962, 1984 & 1999


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