Penguin Press: John le Carré, The Smiley Collection book covers

Category: Editorial Design; Entered by: Penguin Press, Penguin Random House

For Penguin Press’ boxset collection of John le Carré’s George Smiley novels, designer David Pearson used typography as the principle form of expression and took the period of the book’s inception, the 1960s, as the stylistic lead. 

There are eight books in the series, and the design and writing on the covers take their cue from the slightly stilted copy style featured in some of Le Carré’s original 60s editions. 

Without pushing it too far into pastiche, the covers aim to recapture some of that eccentric but genuinely exuberant spirit, conveying an enthusiast’s love for the material inside.

Publisher: Penguin Press, Penguin Random House
Art Director: Jim Stoddart

Copywriter: Nick Asbury
Designer: David Pearson