Looking at Penguin Books

My book cover is to be designed for the famous publisher Penguin. Penguin books are known for their high quality, inexpensive paperbacks that were sold in high street stores during the 1930s for as little as six pence. The Penguin Books is a British publisher founded in 1935 by Sir Allen Lane and V.K. Krishna Menon. Penguin’s sucess had a significant impact on the publics view through books on politics, arts and science. Today Penguin Books are still going strong and have become part of the Penguin Random House, a conglomerate which was formed during 2013 by the merging of former Penguin Group and Bertlesmann. Below I will will be looking at different Penguin book cover designs.


  • This design is the classic Penguin book cover using a very minimalistic layout and the use of the same colour scheme of the Pengunin logo.
  • It has a clean feel to it and the sans serif typeface compliments the rectangular shapes in the layout. There is
  • The colour scheme is bright and its what helps it stand out and be recognisable as a Penguin book.


  • Positioning of the Penguin logo on the spine is about a centemiter from the bottom
  • Authors name is at the top follwed by the title
  • In this example they are all under a Food catergory which is mentioned just above the logo


Above are examples of two more recent book covers by Penguin. They no longer involve the classical layout outs of previous years. There is a more heavy use of illustrations and the example on the left uses a custom typeface, the colour scheme is completely different and they both no longer use the ‘Marber grid’. The Marber grid was designed by Polish graphic desinger Romek Marber in 1961. Prior to this layout design, Penguin tended to favour simple typographic covers without illustrations.


This is an example of a Penguin book I found refering to ‘motivation’ is using the Marber grid layout. The illustration is quite abstract and colour scheme is minimal.


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