Penguin is a publishing brand has been established by Lane brothers in 1935 with an idea to manufacture cheap books available to everyone. Penguin has a branch company – Puffin publishing, which specializes in children’s books. One of the key features of the brand is a highly recognizable visual identity , e.g. logo, colour palette, cover layout. Penguin Publishing book cover designs are one of the most remarkable examples of publishing art, starting from early brand development (Tchihold’s typography etc.) till present days.
The criterion of the brief were the following:
- have an imaginative concept and original interpretation of the brief
- be competently executed with strong use of typography
- appeal to a contemporary readership
- show a good understanding of the marketplace
- have a point of difference from the many other book covers it is
The cover illustration is based on an allegorical representation of the key moment in the novel: McMurphy’s lobotomy surgery ( an operation when frontal zone of the brain is disconnected from the rest of it in order to eliminate hallucinations ), which has divided the whole plot into two parts - before and after. In the actual cover, there is a stylized image of a brain, divided into two parts by the spine of the book. The back cover would depict the frontal zone containing the best things/events connected with McMurphy, the front cover would show the rest of the brain full of the negative sides/characters/events of the story.The technique of execution is a highly detailed, graphical drawing style based on crisp line pattern uniting the image/ mocking the texture of the brain. Yellow colour represents the mental aspect of the story. Free-shape hand-rendered typography supports the overall dynamics of the cover symbolizing mental disbalance and struggle in the book.