Puffin by Design : 2010 70 Years of Imagination 1940 - 2010, Paperback

Puffin by Design : 2010 70 Years of Imagination 1940 - 2010 Paperback

5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Late in 1939 a chance meeting between Penguin founder, Allen Lane, and natural history publisher, Noel Carrington, changed the future of children's publishing with the formation of a series called "Puffin Picture Books".

The first four titles appeared in 1940 and the series quickly established a reputation for presenting children's non-fiction in a unique blend of editing and design. "Puffin Story Books" soon followed with the publication of "Worzel Gummidge" in 1941 and, like the original launch of Penguin itself, these story books appeared in the three horizontal stripe design.

Looking back at seventy years of Puffin paperbacks, Phil Baines charts the development of Puffin and the role of illustrators and designers in creating and defining the identity of the Puffin list from the very first picture book through to modern day.

Rich with stunning cover and inside illustrations, and filled with detail of individual titles, Phil discusses the changes in typography, illustration and printing techniques over Puffin's spectacular 70-year history.

An extraordinary and beautiful book, this is a perfect companion to "Penguin By Design".


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256 pages, Covers and spreads from Puffin backlist
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Graphic design
  • ISBN: 9780141326146



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This is a fantastic book for anyone who loves children's books, but also for those interested in style and design throughout the 20th century. It charts the evolution of Puffin's image from 1940 to the present, and spares no expense on the quality and number of images reproduced. However, it is not really a gallery of all your favourite cover art - rather, the book is a survey of cover styles, with a generous selection of examples from each period. Phil Baines provides a sometimes critical commentary on the innovations made, and how well he believes they worked in terms of graphic design. The contents of the books illustrated are not discussed, beyond identifying whether they are fiction or not. It was fascinating to me to see the beautiful covers from the very first Puffins - way before my time, and which I have never seen even second hand. As the designs became more familiar to me from my own library, there were plenty that brought back memories, and some that made me cringe! The teen imprints, Peacock Books and Puffin Plus, are also discussed, as are plenty of Picture Puffins. This would make a great gift for a book lover or for someone interested in graphic design history. This was published to celebrate Puffin's 70th birthday, but it is we who have received a lovely gift!

Also by Phil Baines