Project Description

Penguin Later Years

Such was the impact of the Marber Grid that it was soon used not only for Penguin general fiction (coded orange), but also for non-fiction Pelicans (coded light blue), and it was clearly in Facetti’s mind when he radically overhauled Penguin Classics, consigning Jan Tschichold’s elegant typographic design to history in favour of the now-familiar black covers. Romek said “Germano Facetti was the ideal art director; he had trust in the designers of his choice.”

End of an Era
In 1966 Alan Aldridge was appointed the art director for popular fiction covers and the Marber Grid and Facetti’s belief in the strength of the publisher’s identity was gradually diluted as Pop-Art took over.

In 1968 or 69 Penguin Books was faced with an internal crisis. At the request of Allen Lane, I was asked by Alan Aldridge to design covers for seven Angus Wilson titles. At the time, the only Penguin identity appearing on covers was a Penguin symbol. When the pristine copies of Angus Wilson’s novels arrived the usual pleasure of seeing the work in print turned into disappointment. Some of the covers, not all, had the the words ‘A Penguin book’ in large type added without my knowledge to the top of the cover. Putting it mildly, I was annoyed. In the next reprints the offending type was removed.

Romek Marber