David Pearson is an award winning designer and the audience at the Letter Exchange talk on the 18th February had an insight into his success in using type as image. Viewers of his book covers are frequently invited to participate in decoding the concepts in these deceptively simple designs. He uses a framework / template which he designs for each range, so that the books in any series, have a unity when they are together. Within this design restriction, there are some very interesting things that happen.
And I loved this statement of David’s: “All typefaces can be used for something, no matter how gross they are”
Cover design is about selling, and people vote for the design by buying the books. Of course we judge a book by it’s cover! David Pearson has shown by the popularity of the Great Ideas series that his designs are memorable and accessible to the buying public.David not only revamped the Penguin book covers, but also facilitated a Penguin retrospective exhibition of cover designs titled “70 Years of Penguin Design”
When he design the cover for George Orwell’s 1984 book, he drew on his memory of seeing blacked out lettering in a book and this cover has black lettering embossed onto a black strip, thus semi-obliterating the title.
His passion for designing is contagious and his aim to titillate the viewer is achieved! It was a thoroughly enjoyable articulate talk and The Artworkers’ Guild was bursting at the seams.