Shepard Fairey for Penguin Books

I’m the first to admit that I wasn’t the best student in high school. I’m a strong believer that if you can’t make something relevant to a student, then they won’t want to learn about it, and I certainly was of that mindset. Maybe Penguin Books was thinking the same thing when they asked Shepard Fairey to redesign the covers of two classic books, Animal Farm and 1984.

1984 is an obvious match up with Shepard and his style and the mantra his work embodies. Animal Farm has those same sort of ideas, but I was still a little surprised he did that one in addition. These covers stick to pretty much the same thing he’s done over and over again (think of the Smashing Pumpkins cover he just did and compare it to the Animal Farm cover), but I think this is a really smart move on the part of Penguin’s, nonetheless. If someone had handed me one of these books when I was 16, I would have instantly though, “Oh, he’s that guy who makes those Obey clothes!”, and been excited to see what the book was about.

As horrible as it sounds, kids judge a book by it’s cover. Hell, as an adult I still do. Hopefully Penguin enlists the help of more designers like Mr. Fairey to liven up the fronts of books, possibly opening up a new love of reading for kids growing up in the age of the internet. How about Futura doing the cover of Brave New World? Evan Hecox doing The Outsiders? Neckface doing Lord of the Flies? So many awesome artists out there that could help make a kid read.

Click here for more info about the project.

Found through Coudal Partners


April 11, 2008