The sheer range of world-famous Penguin brands that have been overseen by the keen eye of art director Jim Stoddart would make any book designer – and indeed reader – weak at the knees. Since 2001, Stoddart has been responsible for design within the Penguin Press division and has designed and art directed several imprints, from Penguin Classics and Penguin Modern Classics, to Particular Books and the Allen Lane imprint.
At the same time he has worked as creative director on the redesign of Penguin Modern Poets and, more recently, on the relaunch of Pelican Books, an innovative project that transformed a historic brand into a digital publisher, with books brought out simultaneously in print and online in a way that has not been bettered.
Outside of the wider imprint designs, Stoddart’s skills can also be seen deep down in some of Penguin’s most interesting series projects to date. With a highly talented team assembled at the Penguin offices on The Strand, the art department has conceived of contemporary design classics such as Great Ideas, Clothbound Classics, Little Black Classics (above) and this year’s Pocket Penguin series (below), which brought a colourful palette to some of the greats of world literature. In each case, Stoddart has helped Penguin to bring more great writing to more people, while enabling its digital offering to appeal to a readership more familiar with an established legacy in print.