Raise your hands if you like books. Now raise your hand if you like books that are small, aesthetic and affordable. Well you’re in luck – Penguin have recently released the new Penguin Modern collection, and it’s rather beautiful!
Released in February 2018, the Penguin Modern collection features a series of 50 titles each offering ‘a concentrated hit of its author’s work’. Waterstones call it a gateway to ground-breaking thought, with a selection of twentieth-century authors that includes Franz Kafka, John Steinbeck and George Orwell. Titles cover fiction, poetry and even blues lyrics! Interested yet?
It gets better… Each book is practically pocket sized, a gorgeous shade of duck-egg blue and they only cost £1 each! Yes, really!
I first stumbled across these lovely bits of literature in Blackwell’s bookstore in Cardiff University’s SU and knew I just had to get one (at least to start…). After my purchase – Franz Kafka’s Investigations of a Dog, which has modelled for my photos – I couldn’t stop picking it up and admiring it. Which got me thinking…
What is it about these little books that makes them so instantly attractive? What made me buy this book rather than any other, without any hesitation? I started to realise that Penguin may have aimed to target their new collection at people like me – the 20 something student that doesn’t always have the time and money to commit to larger books.
If, like me, you’re a millennial you may be familiar with the following thoughts:
- I won’t spend longer on this than I have to
- money?? Where does it come from?? Where does it go??
- That’s pretty and I want it
We get a lot of hate, sure. But we’re also straight to the point, tech-savvy and importantly, creative. And we THRIVE on stuff that sets off our ‘creative radar’. So when something comes along that ticks all the boxes – quick, cheap and pretty – it gets us in the creative mood. And companies know this, which is why the Penguin Moderns are such a hit with the younger generation:
Instead of working on my dissi I just ordered 8 Penguin Moderns HAPPY DAYS
— amz (@Ammalarr) March 7, 2018
Exactly how does a book make us feel more creative? For starters, the aesthetic appeal of the books screams Instagram – just a quick search of the hashtag #penguinmodern returns some gorgeous pastel results. The minimalist design even got me in the mood to get out my sketchbook:
Designed by Joseph Botcherby, the sleek and minimalist look is certainly in right now and Generation X can’t get enough. If in doubt, just take a peek in any high-street shop from Urban Outfitters to Primark and soak up the minimalist goodness! Botcherby talks about his design and being approached by Penguin:
“I wanted the graphic approach to be clean and simple, playing with colours and font treatments not too far away from their classic mainline branding – colour update: duck egg blue instead of turquoise, using a slightly more contemporary font”
It’s the contemporary creative economy in a nutshell, and it’s brilliant. It engages young people with the beauty of classic and contemporary authors without breaking the bank or taking up too much of our precious time. Speaking to a lovely and enthusiastic staff member in Cardiff University’s Blackwell’s, I discovered the collection has been hugely popular since its arrival. She mentioned:
“they’re pretty and all the same colour, so they look really nice on a bookshelf. Students definitely buy them for pleasure rather than studying.”
So if you haven’t already, go and pick up your very own Penguin Modern and inspire your inner creative!