Monday, 5 November 2012

Penguin Scores

As you've probably noticed, Mounds and Circles likes to dabble in graphic design and has quite a soft spot for Penguin books. Pondering the news of their proposed merger with Random House, I chanced upon these miniature scores in my library (stamped of course with the librarian's classic ruthlessness and disdain for aesthetics I have almost grown to admire). Many Penguin readers will have encountered some of the wonderful cover pattern designs on their poetry series and the music series is in a similar vein.

While I do sometimes listen to the 'great composers', I don't read music and admire those who can, so I am totally superficial in judging these books by their covers. Pattern design is a neglected art and there's no shame in paying the designers a tardy compliment; these designs still look bold, rhythmic and harmonious. I would have one as wallpaper on my computer but fear it would probably drive me insane or at least cause permanent retinal damage.

Penguin is rightly proud of their graphic design history and still occasionally produces original and pleasing book cover designs. Let's hope a merger into a publishing conglomerate behemoth doesn't stymie their sense of style.

Published 1950-54
Penguin shoots and scores [groan, ed.]

1 comment:

  1. I've 'read' these editions a number of times in local libraries and second hand shops. Never owned one, despite the fact they look delightful and often had charmingly anachronistic essays in them (which I go in for).
    On that point, interesting to spot the Weber overtures - well thought-of in the 50s but definitely not considered worthy in the company of Bach, Mozart and Wagner today