Penguin Simplifies Classics Imprint Design

Just last year, Penguin sold over 2.2 million Little Black Classics, proving that a┬ácompact no-fuss format works. Now they’re adopting similar principles to their Pocket Penguins range, using a dominant single color on each cover, without any use of imagery. The chosen color palette helps distinguish each book by their original language: olive green for German, dark blue for French, red for Russian, orange for English and so on.


Penguin’s art director Jim Stoddart explains that the colors used for the newly designed classics draw from the colors used for the first Penguin Classics issued back in 1946. The Pocket Penguins will be published in the A size format, which also harks back to the Classics in the mid-1940s.