Here we go again: me, spouting on about why you should join the Penguin Collectors Society. It goes like this: it doesn't cost much and it's great, really great. I mean, it's Penguin, so Phil Baines' is in it, Len Deighton's kicking around, Romek Marber's grid is all over the place, Milton Glaser chips in, the list goes on. Pick up a vintage Penguin and look for the design credit...chances are, if you're a designer, it'll be by someone you've heard of. Or if not, and you dig around, you'll probably discover it's someone you should have heard of.
Even if you're not a designer, if you're reading this you're interested in books or collecting or something and that's what the PCS is all about so if you sign up and pay a very few quid you'll get stuff through your door every now and then that'll be really interesting. And perhaps once a year (or is it once every two years?) a book'll turn up and it'll be worth two, three or even four year's of membership fees.
Penguin by Illustrators, which has just been sent out to members, is the culmination of two years of work which started with the second PCS Study Day at the V&A on March 24 2007. The first took place in 2005 and was organised to coincide with Penguin's 70th Anniversary. That one was Penguin by Designers and brought together many contributors from years gone by. The book that followed was superb. This time Penguin by Illustrators and is a more lavish publication. I only got it on Saturday so haven't read much, but flicking through there's plenty to get excited about, including details on key contributors, along with some of their non-Penguin work. What's most pleasing to see is work that's bang up to date, like Victoria Sawdon's work for the Great Journeys series and the stunning work of Coralie Bickford-Smith that I'd mentioned at the end of last year.