Designer Matthew Young on turning the Penguin Monarchs series paperback

Penguin’s popular Monarchs series is now available in paperback, featuring colour-coded covers and a clever graphic family tree system. We talk to designer Matthew Young about the process behind their creation

CR first wrote about the Penguin Monarchs series, which charts the story of 1,000 years of British monarchy, back in 2014, when the hardback version of the books was published. The hardback set featured distinctive illustrated covers for each of the 45 rulers that appear in the series (released over four years).

For the paperback release, Penguin has taken a sharp change in direction, driven largely by budget: the lower cover price of each book brought significant design restrictions this time round.

Below we talk to designer Matthew Young about how the new design developed, and what ideas were abandoned along the way.

Why do I need to register?

Every month, hundreds of thousands of people visit us here on our website. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. We just ask you to provide a few details about yourself and what you do. Don't worry, we won't share your information with anyone, unless you give us permission to do so. In return you can:

Submit your work

Send us your latest projects, which we will review and consider to be featured on our website or in the print magazine.

Receive our newsletter

Get the latest creative insight and inspiration delivered straight to your inbox, in a newsletter curated by the CR editorial team.

Subscribe for more from CR

Subscribe to Creative Review to access all our premium online content, the digital archive which includes over 400 issues of the magazine and much more.




Maidenhead, Berkshire