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20 Years of Penguin Essentials

6 January 2018 - 29 April 2018

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Penguin Random House UK will take over the Wunderkammer at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft with a celebration of 100 Penguin Essentials. The display accompanies the museum’s exhibition ‘Elizabeth Friedlander: Typographer, Calligrapher, Designer’ and reflects Friedlander’s relationship with the renowned publishing house; Penguin was an early champion of Friedlander’s talent, and many of her best-known works were created to grace the covers of these iconic books.

The Penguin Essentials series began in 1998 under the guidance of Art Director John Hamilton, and continues to celebrate this artistic heritage through a series of creative collaborations with contemporary designers, illustrators and artists such as Tomato (Anthony Burgess A Clockwork Orange), Banksy (Nick Cave And The Ass Saw The Angel) and Angie Lewin (William S Burroughs Junky). The result is an ongoing collection of innovative and diverse book designs that stand as a shining example of imagery, typography and layout.

The original artists and designers Hamilton chose often hadn’t designed book jackets before and were not locked into the norms and formulae of cover design. 20 years later he has carefully selected 100 of his own favourites showcasing the ground-breaking designs, with an additional selection from the publisher’s archives that includes several Friedlander book covers and noted designers of their day.

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