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Tschicold for Penguin, 1949

August 1, 2011 Tschicold for Penguin, 1949

As part of his overhaul of Penguin books typography and design guidelines, Jan Tschicold art-directed a small range of classical music scores for the publisher. These neat landscape books first saw print in 1949, each labelled in the classical milieu with a small bookplate style title, set in three cuts of Garamond (a stark contrast to the development of, and strict adherence to, the graphical minimalism with which Tschicold rose to prominance) and adorned with a unique graphical pattern printed in two or three colours, designed by a variety of freelance designers of the day.

I first stumbled across numbers 2 (Bachs Brandonberg Concerto) and 3 (Beethovens Coriolan and Egmont) sat together on a dusty shelf at the back of Barter Books in Alnwick (a shop more famous for rediscovering the ubiquitous Keep Calm poster) ten years ago, and was compelled to invest.

Bachs Brandenberg Concerto

Haydns London

Beethovens Coriolan and Egmont

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