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My host (I am doing a long-term house-sit) has this book, and it even has the Swissair booklet still glued to the page. He has most of the Penrose Annuals, I think; the oldest is the 1902-03 edition. Since they're not mine I'm loathe to look much at them, though.


Although the Internet is the obvious resource for visual goodies these days, do you think there's something in print that's a modern equivalent to the Penrose Annual?

I particularly like Phaidon's Area book, and now they've announced Area 2 perhaps they'll keep publishing new editions... although that'd be quite tough on the old bank balance!


Hi Daniel, the visual content of Penrose is only one part of it's content and I think that perhaps the format is obsolete really; things move too fast now so a book made today, with the broad content and labour intensive production values that you once found in Penrose, would be out of date before it was in the shops I suspect. I'll check out Area though; not sure that I've seen it.


I think the finest pages in this issue must be the Linotype specimen of their new font, Juliana. The Font Bureau is releasing a digital version later this month. See http://www.flickr.com/photos/9900052@N05/3405096166/sizes/l/

Nicola Connolly

The experimental overprinting on the cover of this edition is lovely. Reading University have a fantastic collection of these. When looking back at Penrose Annuals you really get a sense of the design era in which they existed. I think sometimes it’s important to look back at how design trends and ideas have developed over time. It enables us to move forward with a more informed understanding of where styles and techniques have originated. It then IMHO allows us to build on solid principles with fresh design ideas.

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