Four seminal visual arts texts by Bruno Munari, Marshall McLuhan, Susan Sontag and
John Berger have been republished as part of Penguin’s ongoing project to honour its
The books, reissued as part of the Penguin on Design series, include Munari’s 1965 book, Design As Art; McLuhan’s 1967 classic, The Medium is the Massage; Berger’s seminal Ways Of Seeing from 1972; and Sontag’s 1977 essay, On Photography.
Penguin Press art director Jim Stoddart explains the thinking behind the re-releases: “Part of Penguin’s creative publishing direction includes refreshing some classic creative texts that still sell many thousands of copies each year, despite their tired covers and designs that haven’t been touched for decades.
“I approached Yes Design to work on unifying these four books into a timeless and dignified series, while also taking much care to complement the integrity of the original texts.”
For Ways of Seeing, Yes attempted to reassert the book’s unconventional format (originally designed in 1972 by Richard Hollis) including his famous cover that featured the first half-page of the book’s text.
“It was originally the intention that the inside text would follow seamlessly from the cover,” explains Stoddart, “but the publishing conventions at the time resulted in the text starting again after the usual copyright and title pages. In this new edition we’ve at last made this possible, while retaining the fundamentals of Hollis’s original design.”
With McLuhan’s book, Penguin have also honoured the famous spelling mistake on the cover. According to marshallmcluhan.com, when the author saw the typesetter’s error (“message” as “massage”), he exclaimed, “Leave it alone! It’s great, and right on target!”.
All four are available now: more visual arts titles are promised for the future.
More info at penguin.co.uk