BOOKS – PENGUIN WORLD CLASSICS RED EDITIONS
Penguin have today unveiled a new series of World Classics in partnership with the international RED campaign to coincide with World AIDS Day. The day is designed to raise awareness of the AIDS epidemic and reflect on what what has been accomplished in the fight against HIV/AIDS. It is also aimed at galvanising efforts in that fight.
The classic stories in the new series include:
Silas Marner – George Eliot
Sons and Lovers – DH Lawrence
Vanity Fair – William Thackeray
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Sentimental Education – Gustave Flaubert
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson
The Lady with the Little Dog – Anton Chekhov
Perhaps the most exciting thing about the collaboration is the new artwork that Penguin has commissioned for each of the classics from a variety of creative talents.
We’ve got some quick interviews from some of the artists, illustrators and designers on what has inspired each of them. We’ll be publishing most of them tomorrow, but here’s our interview with Jenny Grigg, the award-winning Australian designer who took on Eliot’s classic Silas Marner, to whet your appetite.
Because the main character Silas Mariner is a silk weaver, my first idea was to embroider the quote in red thread. But due to a lack of time, I opted to use a technique using cut strips of paper, so, paper thread.
~ Did you approach the design like any other book, or did it feel that these ones were a little special?
It is good to know your work can contribute positively, beyond the point of sale in a bookstore. And as a designer, contributing to a Penguin Classics series is a buzz. It was a double whammy of a brief.
~ Any thoughts on the Penguin/RED partnership?
It’s a great idea, a clever interpretation of (Red)’s endeavours
~ What else do you associate with the colour red?
Roses are red, red rag to a bull, passion, anger, heat, warmth, PMS 485 from my time as a magazine art director. My favourite red is ‘chinese lacquer red’.
~ How did this book inspire your cover artwork?
Because the main character Silas Mariner is a silk weaver, my first idea was to embroider the quote in red thread and have it photographed. That would have involved designing typography for the quote, perhaps in a 19th century type style, and then commissioning a machine embroiderer to stitch up the design in red thread.
It became obvious this idea was too ambitious as we didn’t have much time. Instead I opted to use a technique using cut strips of paper, so you could say the quote is written with paper thread.
The paper technique was one I had used for 10 covers in a Peter Carey series a few years ago, so I was well practised at it. I had already gone through the trial and error stage. Jim Stoddart the art director at Penguin knew and liked the technique, so it was a good solution creatively and practically. This time I had a friend photograph my hands wrtiting the letters in paper and adhering them to the background. A kind of weaving of it’s own, as it turned out.
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