Wednesday 4 May 2011

Timeless vintage brands #3 Penguin Books

Penguin books logo

Strolling around the dusty shelves of one of best bookstores of Paris, Shakespeare and Company, I discovered in a little display case an old book published by Penguin in 1938... and I was really surprised about, firstly, the fact that this publisher exists since a lot of time ago and, secondly, its logo, which has changed since then... Indeed, bringing the book at home with me, I became curious about the history of this publisher and of its wonderful logo, a great sample of timeless vintage brands about which I'm writing latterly...

shakespeare and co Paris

Still during 1930s, good books were expensive, and people for reading them had to be either rich or have a library card. The only popular-price books available on the market were "lurid" fictions almost without cultural qualities... or at least that was what Allen Lane - the creator of Penguin Books - stated one day when, coming back in London from a journey to Agatha Christie's house in Devon, wanted to buy a book for the travel but did not found any good book in the station store... so his idea was to contribute to create a new type of books: the modern paperbacks! That's a good book that does not cost more than a cigarette pack. Following this idea, Penguin was incorporated in 1935, the original price of each book was 6 pennies, and since them it has as mark a little penguin on the front-page and on the spine...

Penguin books logo Penguin books logo
Penguin books logo Penguin books logo

What attired my curiosity is: why a penguin? Well, according with the website of the publisher, Allen Lane was consciousness about the novelty represented by the new brand and for it he desired a "dignified but flippant" symbol for distinguish his books, and a secretary of him simply suggested to use a penguin... indeed I find this logo really flippant, for that I took decision to hand carve a rubber stamp of it and to use it for my bookmarks! I hope you like them, you can find them on my etsy!

Penguin books logo

4 commenti:

that kate on 4 May 2011 at 10:24 said...

That bookshop looks so great and that was a lovely bit of Penguin history that I never knew! Wonderful stamp also!

Iris on 4 May 2011 at 16:53 said...

Hi! I like your rubber stamps a lot! Is this the bookshop from the movie "Before Sunset"?

Memi The Rainbow on 4 May 2011 at 22:06 said...

Yes Iris, you're right, that's the bookshop in which Ethan Hawke presents his book in the film "Before Sunset"; good intuition!

Sara&Eva on 6 May 2011 at 15:23 said...

We love you handme stamps, they seem very difficult to make!

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