‘Classic Penguin: Cover to Cover’ by Paul Buckley

Penguin Random House is a publisher that has always taken deep pride in the design of their iconic book covers. It’s arguably their most defining trait, in fact.

If you’re as much a fan of their covers as we are, you’ll want to pick up Classic Penguin: Cover to Cover by Paul Buckley, creative director of Penguin Classics (with foreword by Audrey Niffenegger and preface by Elda Rotor). Here’s the gist:

In this curated tour featuring illuminating commentary by artists and writers, including Malika Favre, Mike Mignola, James Franco, Jessica Hische, Jillian Tamaki and many more, Penguin creative director Paul Buckley showcases more than a decade of stunning cover designs and the stories behind them. For lovers of classic literature, book design, and all things Penguin, Classic Penguin has you covered.

Buckley could have merely assembled a bunch of the publisher’s eye-popping, avant-garde covers into a single volume and it would’ve been worth the price of admission alone, but the added commentary and stories all put it over the top.

It’s not just about the positive aspects of the work either, but also the rejections, creative disagreements, tantrum-throwing…you name it. This book is a work of art about works of art.

The paperback edition ($17) is the version I recommend buying, but you can also get it in Kindle and iBooks editions ($20, respectively).