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Customer Review

30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This bird doesn't fly, 7 Oct 2007
This review is from: Seven Hundred Penguins (Art & Design) (Paperback)
If you have the previous excellent cover book Penguin by Design: A Cover Story 1935-2005, you might wonder if a book of seven hundred covers is really needed. From my point of view probably not mainly because the editorial idea for this thick, chunky book is rather badly thought out.

The seven hundred covers (reduced to ninety percent of their original size)
are presented one to a page at random with only twelve pre-1950. I would have thought that an historical sequence would have been more interesting and then possibly breaking that down to fiction or non-fiction. Obviously fiction covers allow for much more visual creativity and to see how graphic styles have changed over the years would be interesting.

Another annoyance I found was that none of the covers have captions on the same page. It really is a nonsense to have to keep turning to the fourteen pages at the back of the book just to find who the artist or photographer was or the date of publication. Incidentally the index is not very readable being set in fairly small serif type without the use of bold for the page number.

I was surprised that so many of the covers show signs of wear or fading. Maybe copies were taken from the archive shelves and just photocopied, it certainly looks that way. Maybe a drop shadow on two sides would have helped.

Penguin Books are rightly famous for taking trouble over the whole package: the choice of authors, subjects, design of text pages and covers but I thought 'Seven Hundred Penguins' suggests a rather slapdash quickie title that doesn't deliver. It could have looked so good!

***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.
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Review Details

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4.5 out of 5 stars (4 customer reviews)
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Reviewer

Robin Benson
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