Considering that books have been dismissed as a dying breed for the majority of David Pearson’s working life, there is a certain irony in the fact that he has been able to forge such a successful career out of bringing them to life.
After finishing up at Central Saint Martins in London in 2002 – just as the internet was blowing up and digital design was piquing people’s interests – Pearson’s first job as a fresh-faced graduate was as a text designer at Penguin Books. His career was almost over before it began when, six months into the job, the entire text design department was made redundant. Thankfully, Penguin Press art director Jim Stoddart had already seen something in the young designer and found him another job in the cover design department.
“I was a junior there for a couple of years, and the good thing about being a junior at a really busy company like Penguin is that you can get given quite experimental projects that no one is looking too closely at,” says Pearson. “The hierarchy within publishing is really flat; an art director will tend to give you a project that you will then run as a sub-art director, I suppose, so very early on I was afforded loads of responsibility.”