Penguin. Remixed.


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…):

2_the chamber of secrets

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):


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.


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


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