On 6 September 2007 Penguin Celebrations were published in the UK, a series of 36 contemporary fiction and non-fiction titles with cover designs derived from the classic Penguin grid. Yes, that’s right: the classic cover grid designed by Edward Young and first used by Penguin in 1935, later updated by Jan Tschichold in 1948. The first mention I’ve seen of these came in the Spring 2008 UK import catalogue from Penguin Canada that I’ve only just received this week. As with the classic Penguins of yore, this new series is colour coded:
Orange for Fiction
Light Blue for Non-fiction, including Science
Green for Crime
Cerise for Travel & Adventure (termed ‘Distant Lands’ in the catalogue)
Dark Blue for Biography (termed ‘Real Lives’ in the catalogue)
Purple for Essays & Belles Lettres
Because the full North American rights for many of these titles are held by American publishers, we in Canada will only have direct access to a paltry list of 12 titles, starting on 1st November 2007. Each book is priced at £7.99 in the UK, and $16 in Canada. As I write this, it is also possible to purchase the enitre set on the Penguin UK website for £191.76 or on Amazon UK for £189.84.
Update March 2009: See also Penguin Celebrations Canada, published on 17 February 2009.