CR Blog

Penguin's beautiful new edition of Kama Sutra

Books, Graphic Design, Illustration

Posted by Gavin Lucas, 25 January 2012, 12:50    Permalink    Comments (10)

Just in time to secure some Valentines Day sales, Penguin is about to publish a new edition of the Kama Sutra. The book, produced as a Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition features a dust jacket sporting beautifully illustrated letterforms by Malika Favre...

"This book is part of the Graphic Deluxe series," explains Favre of the commission. "Basically every classic they re-edition is paired up with an artist that pretty much has free range to design the cover. The whole concept of this specific range is to make each classic a collectable item and to push the boundaries of book cover design."

"The edition istelf is a translation of the original text written by Vatsyayana," Favre continues. "There are no pictures inside the book so the challenge was to make the cover sexy, modern and daring without being vulgar or over the top. I decided to create a very bold and playful alphabet that would run across both flaps and front and back cover spelling "Kama Sutra".

"Once folded, the words become hidden and the big letters themselve turn into acrobatic positions," says Favre. "I also wanted to keep that Indian feel in the color palette but make the design itself very modern."

Regular readers of CR blog will know that Favre is no stranger to creating letterforms out of sexy characters. We featured the Sexy Alphabet she created specially for Wallpaper* magazine's Sex Special issue in the summer of 2009. And her Alphabunnies print, created whilst still working for Airside, also featured on the blog (view that post here).

However, Favre's sexy letterforms have always involved two interlocking female characters - until this commission from Penguin's Paul Buckley who art directed the cover. View more of Favre's work at



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Very nice … but please please please commission the Dolphin Plumbing designers to come up with an alternative cover. Would love to see what they come up with.
2012-01-25 14:16:41

What's the book about?
David James
2012-01-25 14:55:18

Naughty but nice.
2012-01-25 20:40:00

Beautiful cover. Gotta try that “A” position out one of these days!
2012-01-26 12:31:42

Totally at one with mainstream societal prudishness. Sex with every inch of erotisism designed out of it. Slick, clever, pretty, inoffensive, uninvolving. The informed middle classes will love it.
2012-01-26 12:34:37

Would be great to hear from the person who commissioned this series
louise weir
2012-01-26 19:27:23

Excellent use of illustration. I am sure alphabets made from different sex positions has been done before but the concept really works here.
I hope they are using French letters.
Gregory Baldwin
2012-01-26 23:00:48

Mr. David James, it's an ancient Mickey Mouse story from Asia. Your kids will enjoy it.
Gregg Lloren
2012-01-27 19:32:06

This is some amazing stuff.
what if i have a blog named what if
2012-02-02 11:20:14

It's ridiculous that there are white people on the cover. Why are there any people on the cover anyway? This is more offensive crap for hipsters to mindlessly consume. THANKS!
2012-02-02 21:27:38

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