Paul Buckley on Designing and Editing Penguin 75


Thanks to a reader’s tip, we were pointed over to Design Related for this interview with Penguin‘s creative director, Paul Buckley, about his new book, Penguin 75: Designers, Authors, Commentary (the Good, the Bad…), which is set to be released next Tuesday. Less a history of the storied publishing house itself than a collection of both writing and design, with contributors running the gamut from Paul Auster to Tony Millionaire, talking about their experiences with book cover design at Penguin. Buckley, having managed the process putting together “roughly 600 book covers and jackets a year” assembled Penguin 75 to give a look at how it all happens. And at the risk of getting too meta, Design Related’s interview provides an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the behind-the-scenes book. Here’s a bit:

Through the process of pitching and editing the book, did you find new appreciation for the editorial side of publishing?

Yes, unbelievably so. Writing and editing is incredibly hard work, and painstaking in its detail. I was the first to find a typo in my book, and it was a pretty big one. My heart sank when I found it — I would have handled a bad art separation much better. Early in my career, I was surrounded by designers and art directors that acted as though they worked so much harder than editors, who were apparently at lunch all day and in the Hamptons all weekend. I’m sure I believed this myself, and I still see that attitude today from time to time. It’s just not true.