Pearson’s Language of Love

Following its previous series Great Ideas and Great Journeys, Penguin Books has released a new selection, this time on the theme Great Loves, which includes 20 titles from authors including Virgil, Casanova, Hardy and Freud

The covers were designed by David Pearson, who was keen to avoid any of the stereotypes often encountered with the subject.

“Design for books on love can often appear cliché-ridden and hackneyed so we decided on a more symbolic approach which seemed to sidestep the sentimental, pulp realism of many books on this subject,” he explains. “As with previous series designs, the visual theme employed here is inspired heavily by traditional book production whilst the reduced palette helps to provide a recognisable, coherent look across all 20 titles.”

To get the look that he was after, Pearson turned to a tool that we all know and love: the rubber stamp. “Wanting the images to be as evocative as possible I considered alternative printing methods such as screen-printing or lino-cutting. However, the time and budget constraints were such that this wasn’t a realistic option so I began to look for ways to create similar effects at a reduced cost. The most successful experiment by far was a result of converting flat, bitmapped artwork into polymer hand-stamps. Stamping the images helped to add layers of texture, creating a much more tactile appearance and one more befitting this subject. Once the artwork had been stamped, it was back into a layout programme and then it could be easily assembled into layered, print-ready files.”

This series will be one of Pearson’s last as an in-house designer for the publisher, as he is leaving shortly to set up his own company, David Pearson Design,


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