Penguin Drop Caps
E. NESBIT was a mischievous, tomboyish child who grew up to be an unconventional adult. She and her husband were founding members of the socialist Fabian Society and their home became a center for socialist and literary discussion. Their friends included some of the time's greatest writers and thinkers, including George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells. Everything about Edith showed her as a woman trying to break out of the mold demanded by English society at the timeshe expressed her individuality through her clothes, hairstyle, lifestyle and her habit of speaking forcefully on almost any subject. She lived her socialism and late in life her charitable deeds brought her close to bankrupcy. Nesbit started to write for children after years of successful writing for adult magazines. She was asked to write about her childhood but instead of facts chose to describe her happy girlhood in fiction and was brilliant at combining real-life situations with elements of fantasy and humor. She passed away in 1924.
JESSICA HISCHE is a letterer, illustrator, typographer, and web designer. She currently serves on the Type Directors Club board of directors, has been named a Forbes Magazine
"30 under 30" in art and design as well as an ADC Young Gun and one of Print Magazine
’s "New Visual Artists". She has designed for Wes Anderson, McSweeney's
, Tiffany & Co, Penguin Books and many others. She resides primarily in San Francisco, occasionally in Brooklyn.
From A to Z, the Penguin Drop Caps series collects 26 unique hardcoversfeaturing cover art by Jessica Hische
It all begins with a letter. Fall in love with Penguin Drop Caps, a new series of twenty-six collectible and hardcover editions, each with a type cover showcasing a gorgeously illustrated letter of the alphabet. In a design collaboration between Jessica Hische and Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley, the series features unique cover art by Hische, a superstar in the world of type design and illustration, whose work has appeared everywhere from Tiffany & Co. to Wes Anderson's recent film Moonrise Kingdom to Penguin's own bestsellers Committed and Rules of Civility. With exclusive designs that have never before appeared on Hische's hugely popular Daily Drop Cap blog, the Penguin Drop Caps series debuted with an 'A' for Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, a 'B' for Charlotte Brönte's Jane Eyre, and a 'C' for Willa Cather's My Ántonia. It continues with more perennial classics, perfect to give as elegant gifts or to showcase on your own shelves.
N is for Nesbit. While exploring the environs of their summer home, five brothers and sisters find a Psammead, or Sand-fairy, in a nearby gravel pit: Its eyes were on long horns like a snail’s eyes, and it could move them in and out like telescopes; it had ears like a bat’s ears, and its tubby body was shaped like a spider’s and covered with thick soft fur; its legs and arms were furry too, and it had hands and feet like a monkey’s.” The Psammead is magical and, every day, the ancient and irritable creature grants each of them a wish that lasts until sunset. Soon they find their wishes never seem to turn out right and often have unexpectedand humorousconsequences. And when an accidental wish goes terribly wrong, the children learn that magic, like life, can be as complicated as it is exciting. Five Children and It continues to be one of our most enduring stories, as fantastical and as it is true to the wonders of childhood.
Winner of the 2012 Fifty Books/Fifty Covers show, organized by Design Observer in association with AIGA and Designers & Books
Praise for Penguin Drop Caps:
“Vibrant, minimalist new typographic covers…. Bonus points for the heartening gender balance of the initial selections.”
—Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
"The Penguin Drop Caps series is a great example of the power of design. Why buy these particular classics when there are less expensive, even free editions of Great Expectations? Because they’re beautiful objects. Paul Buckley and Jessica Hische’s fresh approach to the literary classics reduces the design down to typography and color. Each cover is foil-stamped with a cleverly illustrated letterform that reveals an element of the story. Jane Austen’s A (Pride and Prejudice) is formed by opulent peacock feathers and Charlotte Bronte’s B (Jane Eyre) is surrounded by flames. The complete set forms a rainbow spectrum prettier than anything else on your bookshelf."
—Rex Bonomelli, The New York Times
"Classic reads in stunning covers—your book club will be dying."