Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday evenings are just wrong for so many reasons.

In efforts to subdue my typical Sunday Evening Depression, it is my goal hopefully every week to post about a designer, illustrator or writer whose work inspires me somehow.
My first post highlights some projects by book designer Coralie Bickford-Smith, who works for Penguin Books UK. I stop by their blog on a daily basis because everything they publish is so sophisticated, clean and beautiful. I also love how they take so many older titles and re-issue them with a smart, fresh new look (although many of their old covers from back in the day are gorgeous as well).
Coralie recently re-designed a series of classics that I just simply cannot stop obsessing about. The colors, patterns and type are just so perfect. I love these books so much that I have a photo of them as my current desktop image at work. I stare at it multiple times a day wishing that I could somehow design books that look like these. I NEED to get my hands on a set, they are just too amazing! (Unfortunately, last time I checked they are only sold in the UK).

This is probably old news to some of you, as these have been all over the internets for a while now, but they are currently some of my most favorite designs so I had to blog about them. Below I have selected a few of my favorites from the series. It must have been quite a challenge to find colors and patterns appropriate for such old titles. She has modernized them without losing the original sophistication of the titles.
I love the color combination on Madame Bovary, the hot pink and deep purple go so well together.The pattern on Great Expectations is what gets me, it makes me think of Mrs. Haversham!
I think she has brought such a fresh approach to this classic Jane Austen title, one that has been printed so many times with numerous cover designs. I like this one more than any other version I have seen.
One of the greatest assets a designer can have is their ability to be versatile, working on multiple (and very different) projects at once. I have to post one other, completely different project by Coralie, which just further proves how amazing she is!

Another set that Penguin recently published are some old crime novels, and again I just love these covers!
The quality of the imagery gives the covers that gritty, mysterious feel. I really like how all of them are done in just two colors, allowing them to be very bold and graphic. These covers give me the chills and I know that I would never be able to actually read any of these books because I am such a wimp! However, they are perfectly spooky and appropriate. With 10 books total, they look so incredible all together-take a peek here.

I am done design lusting for now. It's time to go work on some projects of my own.


  1. Oh my gosh, these are beautiful. I love patterns!

  2. One of these days, we should go back to the MCAD library and scan a bunch of old patterns and type from the books there! I should have done more of that while we were students! :)

  3. I love these books, even if i never read them... so pretty :)