The Postmistress cover by Jenny Hart; The Jane Austen Book Club cover by Helen Musselwhite
Six of Penguin’s most popular recent fiction titles have been redesigned as a set with new craft-inspired covers. The Penguin By Hand series makes use of embroidery, crochet and quilting, with each technique further evoked on paper through the use of some serious embossing…
Publishing in September, the Penguin By Hand series features the following titles: The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak (cover by Emma Ruth Hughes); The Help by Kathryn Stockett (cover by Brenda Riddle); The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Banks (cover by Genevieve Dionne); The Postmistress by Sarah Blake (cover by Jenny Hart); The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler (cover by Helen Musselwhite); and The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards (cover by Dominique Falla).
Details of The Postmistress front and back covers
In addition to being highly tactile books, the covers are surprisingly good at replicating the media they were originally created in – for instance, Brenda Riddle’s cover for The Help looks and feels as if it has been made from quilted material (see below). When the embossing plates are as detailed as the ones used to create Riddle’s cover (see below), the effect is bound to translate well on the finished cover. (Images courtesy of Penguin book designer, Alison O’Toole.)
The Help cover by Brenda Riddle; The Memory Keeper’s Daughter cover by Dominique Falla
Detail of The Help cover
Embossing plate used on The Help cover, courtesy of Penguin book designer, Alison O’Toole
The back covers continue the design approach as do the inside fronts and inside backs. While only the front is embossed, extending the look of each cover to the entire book (not to mention the spine) makes a big difference to the overall feel of each edition. With the eye of a skilled craftsperson behind each cover, Penguin has ensured their art carries through into print.
Art director: John Hamilton; Artists commissioned by Gill Heeley and Alison O’Toole; Photography by Andy Johnson. Penguin by Hand launches on September 17. Each edition is £10. penguin.co.uk
Back covers of The Help and The Memory Keeper’s Daughter
The Forty Rules of Love cover by Emma Ruth Hughes; The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing cover by Genevieve Dionne
Detail of The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing cover
Back covers of The Forty Rules of Love and The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing