Penguin. Remixed.

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A wise woman (my mother) asked me what was up with the vintage-looking Penguin cover that read “Go Away I’m Reading” in my last post. I always do as my mother tells me (right mom?), so I did a bit of digging and found an interesting back story. Best of all, I learned how anyone can make their own Penguin cover!

Go Away I’m Reading” is a mock book cover — known as a Penguin remix — a fun and effective promotional tool created by Penguin Books in Canada. It really caught my eye on display at a local bookstore, Books on Beechwood:

These Penguin remixes — like mine, above — are popping up all over the place: A tribute to the iconic Penguin paperback design — “remixed” with new text. Also a good way for aspiring designers to get noticed.

I’ve seen album covers, movie-inspired covers, and a set of Penguin-inspired Harry Potter covers by designer M.S. Corley (looking much better than the real Potter covers I’ve seen…):

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And here’s my favourite: Canadian writer Douglas Coupland designed his own covers for a Penguin 75th Anniversary project called “Speaking to the Past”. Using Penguin covers, he crafted messages he’d like to send to people of the past (1935, when Penguin was established):

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Thanks to Penguin, who posted cover templates for all to use, you can make your own. A great way to personalize an office wall, gift card or work project.

I’ve attached the famous “horizontal grid” from 1935, but you can get more designs here.

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What message would you put on the front of a Penguin paperback?

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