‘dignified but flippant’

Which is how Allen Lane‘s secretary described a certain Antarctic-dwelling flightless bird, adding that it would be an appropriate name for a company.

And so an iconic brand was born.

Penguin’s unwavering commitment to book design has deliciously manifested itself in the hardback clothbound releases of classics by Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and others. Designed by the fabulously named Coralie Bickford-Smith, these books dazzle, sparkle and enchant with their Arts and Craft and Art Nouveau references, candy-like colours and shimmering motifs.

Well, they did me, anyway.

Beautifying bookshops everywhere and, if Santa is kind, my own bookshelf very soon!

Photos of book spines courtesy of inpenguin.

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