September 21, 2016

POSTED BY

Mateo Ramirez

CATEGORY

The Book Covers of David Pelham

Designer and illustrator David Pelham was the Art Director at Penguin Books from 1968 to 1979. With his arrival, Pelham was ready to change the aesthetic of the previous years at the publishing house. He proposed the idea to treat each cover as a blank canvas for different artists to …

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Designer and illustrator David Pelham was the Art Director at Penguin Books from 1968 to 1979. With his arrival, Pelham was ready to change the aesthetic of the previous years at the publishing house. He proposed the idea to treat each cover as a blank canvas for different artists to express themselves, by doing so, he let go of previously existing constricting grids. His work was seen throughout many different types of genres but his most iconic covers were done for Science Fiction books.

Even though he supported and encouraged Penguin Books to hire different artists to design the book covers, he often ended up directing and illustrating them himself. One of his clients, the English novelist J.G Ballard, was so attracted by Pelham’s conceptual thinking that he insisted on making Pelham illustrate and design most of his publications.

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

new york branding sports graphic design agency

An artwork that everyone knows is for A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, an art he did himself the night before the deadline. Pelham says that Penguin Books had planned to release a new publication of Burgess’s novel at the same time of Kubrick’s adaptation. Kubrick had refused to supply them with promotional press shots so Pelham hired an illustrator to help them out. The commission was handed in late and didn’t satisfy him so since he had already attended a press screening of Kubrick’s film, he already had in mind the visual he believed the cover should be, he quickly gathered materials and finished the cover in one night. The end result became one of the most recognized images ever used in a book cover.

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All images ©David Pelham

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