A little over a year ago, I wrote about the Art Of Penguin Science Fiction website and posted some of my favourite Penguin sci-fi book covers, including the 1962 edition of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (see here). I’ve always been a fan of the traditional Penguin three-stripes design, so I love the look of the spanking new edition of Nineteen Eighty-Four, for which graphics guru David Pearson has taken the original 1949 cover of the book, embossed the title and Orwell’s name, and then censored them with black blocks of ink. It’s very, well, Orwellian. It’s very striking too.
This latest edition of Nineteen Eighty-Four is part of Penguin’s “Great Orwell” series. You can read more about David Pearson’s designs for this and the other books in the series – Animal Farm, Homage To Catalonia, Down And Out In Paris And London, and Politics And The English Language – at the Creative Review blog.
I’ve been spending way too many hours at The Art of Penguin Science Fiction website, which charts the history and cover art of science fiction paperbacks published by Penguin Books from 1935 to the present day. All of the early Penguin covers featured three horizontal bands, with the book title and the author’s name in black type across the middle band, but the designs became more individual from the late 1950s onwards. I remember taking a battered, sellotaped-together copy of this 1962 edition of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four out of my school library. The other covers shown above are the 1974 edition of Ray Bradbury’s The Day It Rained Forever, Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle (1985), John Wyndham’s The Day Of The Triffids (1999) and Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We (2007).