Tillmans shots feature on Penguin Philosophy in Transit series

Penguin’s new series, Philosophy in Transit, features close-cropped shots of commuters by photographer Wolfgang Tillmans

Penguin’s new series, Philosophy in Transit, features close-cropped shots of commuters by photographer Wolfgang Tillmans

The series is trailed by the publisher as “easily digestible, commute-length books of original philosophy”. The first four titles are written by John D Caputo, Barry Dainton,Slavoj Zizek and Susan Nieman. Each features a cover shot by Tillmans of travellers on the Tube.



The series was designed by Matthew Young, working with Penguin art director Jim Stoddart. “[Tillmans] did a very short series of photographs back in 2000 featuring people on the Tube, and these photos just felt like a perfect fit for these books,” Young says. “The idea of commuting is used as a metaphor throughout the books to explain philosophical ideas and concepts, plus they’re short A-format editions that are perfect for reading on your way to work, on the Tube perhaps.”

“Tillman’s photographs are really stylish, and feature quite close-up unusual crops. You can almost read whatever you want into them, and each reader will interpret the photographs differently … they’re the main focus, and the rest of the design is kept deliberately clean and minimal,” Young explains. The covers are set in Avenir “with a strong but balanced hierarchy that puts emphasis on the title and draws your eye to the subtitle, Philosophy in Transit.”

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