Seventy Years of Penguin Design- 01.20.08
NOTCOT Note: Here’s a post from Justine/RUGenius ~ who is running around with our mom in Oxford and the general vicinity…
When trying to decide where to take my mother for the day, an ad caught my eye - “Seventy Years of Penguin Design” at the Holburne Museum of Art in Bath. Here was a combination of things we love: books, design…and superficially enough, penguins!
While the exhibit itself was tiny, no more than a room, it was filled with treasures and gorgeously arranged, painted a bright Penguin book cover orange. And what a cover! It’s hard to think of a more iconic design (perhaps the old Campbell’s soup can?). And Penguin has certainly been marketing it design classic, selling Penguin classic book mugs, deckchairs and towels. We all know and love that three panel design, but I, for one, didn’t know much else about Penguin. Did you know that first Penguin paperbacks were just two and a half pence and designed with the goal of making literature affordable and accessible to all. If only that were still true!!! And it’s not JUST penguin, you can also see the development of the Pelican and Puffin lines and logos as well! Read more and see pics of it all after the jump!
The walls were lined with hundreds of books, including series which I had never seen (e.g. the green murder mystery series and blue pelicans). But the most fascinating part of the exhibit though was the development of the Penguin logo. As described by the curator, the penguin has gone through several redesigns. In some editions, the penguin was dancing, and in others it suffered acute appendicitis, before finally stabilizing as the upright penguin we know and love. In fact, penguin isn’t even the only logo they had! The development of the pelican and puffin series logos were also on display. The exhibit was extremely well designed, capturing the company’s aesthetic as well as its history and impact on society, a real gem, well worth the trip despite the rain!