Tag Archives: penguin

It Gets Better

Those of you who follow me on Twitter might remember that I tweeted this a few weeks ago:  New video/book trailer from AMAZING project @itgetsbetter – watch, retweet, pledge support!http://youtu.be/TvhZA0B_qiQ #ItGetsBetter #LGBT

It was the first time that I had heard of this amazing viral movement created by Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller, where thousands of people have spoken up via video messages to encourage gay teens to stick it out through bullying, believe in yourself, and find people in this world that support you.

Because it DOES get better – in the real world, it’s okay to be different, and there are SO many people out there that will love and accept you for who you are. I believe in this with all my heart!  While I had it easy to be born straight and female (inside and out), I think of all the people I care about who did have to carry that kind of secret with them.  And I, as with many other straight allies and creative people, remember what it’s like to grow up feeling like an outsider, picked on, or invisible.  In the real world, that ceases to matter – it only makes you stronger and more confident in who you are!

I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of Pearson, in introducing this It Gets Better video (above).  It features some of my amazing, beautiful colleagues who were brave enough to share their stories.

For more information about the It Gets Better movement, what you can do to help, and the newly-released book, see below!

Watch Videos and Pledge Support

Buy The Book

Help get the It Gets Better book in every school in America

Lutheran bishop Rev. Mark Hanson’s video and ELCA response

Full interview on NPR this week

The Trevor Project


Penguin 75: An AIGANY Panel

As I’ve mentioned before, this year is a great time to join the Penguin team – it’s the 75th anniversary of the classic paperback publisher.  Since (of course!) I feel that Penguin’s greatest strength is its design and branding philosophy, I wasn’t going to miss the chance to hear about it from some of the best creative brains in the company at last Thursday’s AIGA panel.

First of all, can I just say that AIGA kicked off the event with some hilarious and heavily-accented (do those two things go together?) moderators!  Board member Matteo Bologna, founder and president of Mucca Design Corporation, introduced Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich, an amazing book designer and creative director in his own right. You may know him as the creator of the children’s book Bembo’s Zoo (don’t miss the amazing online version!), which always reminds me of the best Type II project anyone could produce. I mean, it’s the same concept as your standard “play with letterforms” exercise, but blows every student out of the water.

Anyway, Bologna and de Cumptich got the crowd warmed up for what would continue to be a very witty discussion on the process of book cover design.

The featured guest of the evening was Paul Buckley, Executive VP and Creative Director of Penguin, not to mention editor of the featured Penguin 75 book.  Aside from jokes about his former ’90s mullet and current “Penguin-esque” bald look, Buckley had some seriously enlightening things to say about the evolution of covers.  Since Buckley was/is an illustrator as well (that’s his first love and original life plan), he’s passionate about integrating art and design, and pushing the limits of how the two can transform the surface of a book.  Although he oversees hundreds of titles per year, you can still see his mark on the direction of new and old classics, such as the mind-blowingly AWESOME Penguin Ink series featuring tattoo artists.

Bridget Jones’ Diary, illustrated by Tara McPherson

Moon Palace, illustrated by Grez at Kings Avenue Tattoo

Two of Paul’s designers also took the stage: Gregg Kulick, whose punk-rock meets kitsch sensibility is just as cool on book covers as it is on show posters, and Jim Tierney, whom you may recognize from my last post (um, what a coincidence! We’ve met! We started Penguin the same day! I really did not put any of it together until I got to this event!).  One of the most surprising things about their talks is that they showed a lot of their past work – what they did as a student, where they went after graduating, that sort of thing.  It’s both encouraging to see one’s style evolves after graduation, and intimidating that they were just as talented then.  I’m at home redo-ing my senior projects, but these dudes? Publication-ready from the start.

I spent most of the evening astounded by how many completely different versions of adult covers get made before the final is approved.  Penguin 75 showcases these shelved variations, with added commentary from the designers and authors involved. Interestingly, some of the essays are brutally honest, such as (the guru of Minnesota Lutherans) Garrison Keillor’s scathing review of his cover, Love Me.

So it was only appropriate that they brought up an author, A.M. Homes, to comment, improv-style, on the unseen covers of her novel, This Book Will Save Your Life.  I give her major props for going up in front of an auditorium of judgy discerning designers to talk about the subject they know most.  And she really held her own, keeping it light, funny and honest, and still sounding intelligent.  The panel added their “insider’s view” of the evolution of her cover, and while any number of the versions could have worked well, I think they ended up with a great result.

This Book Will Save Your Life, hardcover and paperback covers

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of Penguin 75 soon… can’t wait to hear what more authors have to say about their classics!

Video Half-Day Friday: Happy 75th Penguin! + Austen-Mania

Happy Birthday, Penguin! Today, the revolutionary publisher of paperbacks new and old (also known to me as “work”), turns 75.  I couldn’t be prouder to be at a company with such a historically strong emphasis on design.  And what better way to celebrate than with this adorably informative documentary?

Video – Penguin Books 75th Anniversary – Penguin Group (USA)

(Can’t embed this for the life of me… so you’ll just have to clicky click!)

Now, on to some video fun, posted by Laura from Combreviations over at 100 Scope Notes:

… SO funny!!  I’m not a huge Austen fan, but I have a soft spot in my heart for Emma, my soul-sister in misguided matchmaking.  I’m always amazed at the many ways that Austen can be adapted, on- and off-screen, so I have probably seen more spin-off movies than read original books.

Penguin, as a publisher of classics, has done an amazing job of reworking old material for a modern audience, so it makes sense that Austen is perfect for them.  They’ve even expanded into “Austen-Mania” with this page on their website, so that fans can delve into the world of romance, long after they’ve read the books.

To show just how innovative Penguin has been with this one author, here are a few examples any Austen fan should check out:

1. I’ve been drooling over this Hardback Classics cover of Emma for months!  It epitomizes that delicious feeling of holding a really beautiful book in your hands. Make sure to take a look at the books by other authors as well.

2.  Penguin UK created a fun and simple project called My Penguin.  For just a few dollars, aspiring designers can pick up their blank copy of Emma (or another classic), and create their own book cover.  While submissions are closed, it’s really interesting to see the gallery of work that came out of it from bands, artists, and anyone else who wanted to contribute.

3.  Still not satisfied creating your own Georgian-Regency world?  The book, Lost In Austen (wasn’t this also a movie?), is a choose-your-own-adventure style tale through all six books.

3.  Ah, Penguin UK, why are you so pretty?  The evolution of Pride and Prejudice, here, here and here.  I even found an article from 2006 where the Brits turned Austen into chick lit, with Colin Firth and all.  Now that’s a little ridiculous…

4.  Want to read all the novels at once, just like that hot dude in The Jane Austen Book Club? Of course, Penguin Classics has a complete set.

Now, it’s a beautiful day, time to get to the park and celebrate Penguin by reading my book!

For Book Designers, Type Matters

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Obsessed with typefaces?  Then go watch the cutest set of videos made about Penguin’s book designers at Type Matters. It’s entertaining for graphic designers, but relatable for those just starting out (I want to share it with all my family members who ask me the question, “So, what is graphic design, exactly?”).

I especially love the first video, where you can see my walk to work!  They even critique the type on the side of my favorite food vendor at 345 Hudson (run by this little hilarious Russian couple).  And I thought it was adorable that they gave lower-case g’s a bit of personality.  Makes me proud to be a Penguin book designer.

Best of all, designers give a smart take on their opinions of favorite and least-favorite typefaces.  I was pleased that they didn’t state the obvious (yes, everyone hates Comic Sans and Papyrus… it need not be said), and you can always tell something about a person from the typefaces towards which they gravitate.

My personal typeface?  Archer by Hoefler and Frere-Jones, designed for Martha Stewart Magazine in 2001.  This 20th-century European look gives the slab-serif a bit of sweetness, quirkiness and charm, while still keepin’ it classy and professional (and isn’t that just so… me!?).  Now, I use it for everything – business cards, resumes… it even was the perfect choice for That’s Like Me!

Last spring, I was freaking out about finding “my typeface”, and it took me many a false try before I found Archer for my own branding.  It was as though if I couldn’t identify myself with a font, I had no right to have a personality as a designer.  While now I see how ridiculous that is, if you’re feeling the same way, you can take Pentagram’s What Type Are You? (the most amazingly-designed online quiz I’ve EVER seen).

Who knows… maybe you’ll be emotional, understated, progressive and disciplined… just like me and Archer Hairline!

I Don’t Care About Your Band – But I Do Care About Your Blog

In celebration of my first week at work, I thought you’d all like to know that Penguin actually has a pretty sweet blog.  And this week, I can’t get enough of their guest blogger/author, Julie Klausner!  She’s got a snappy, self-deprecating (and yet, somehow uplifting?) sense of humor that not only makes me not only want to tune into the next post-Valentine’s-day post, but also buy her book, I Don’t Care About Your Band: What I’ve Learned From Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters, And Other Guys I’ve Dated, which came out Tuesday.

I Don’t Care About Your Band is the latest in a line of books dedicated to the single and too cynical to mingle, focusing on the author’s hilariously awful failed relationships.  In the end, though, her message comes through loud and clear:  that all the jerks and weirdos in the world can’t cramp your style – or your hopes and dreams. Don’t believe me?  This Jezebel review will prove it to you.

If you’re like me and can’t get to Barnes and Noble to buy the book until after pay day tomorrow, skip the Valentine’s Day movie and check out a list of more single people treats:

1.  The Blind Leading The Blind – From Imboycrazy.com (how many times can I say “go to there”??), my weekly bible that’s a “pep talk in the form of a slap in the face in the form of a blog”.

2.  Schmitten Kitten – A hilarious blog with topics like, “Things In His/Her House That Make Us Sad”… it has the writing talents of both ladies and gents, and if they weren’t Philly-based, I’d be rocking all of their events.

3.  Things I’ve Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me (Grand Central, 2008) – Bro out with side-splitting short stories about break-ups from the male perspective – our favorite comedic males like Stephen Colbert, Nick Hornby, Andy Richter, Dan Savage etc. etc. etc.

4.  Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen (Viking, 2009) – Missing some summer YA-lit in this cold, snowy weather?  Get out of your studio mode and release your inner night-owl with this gem of a novel about a perfectionist teen who learns to ride a bike and fall in love before hitting the books at college.

5.  If a celeb can do it, so can you – Lauren Graham is 40 and – SHOCKER – happy.  Cheers!

photo credit – put a heart on your pug’s face!

And… I got my perfect REAL job!!!

UPDATED 2/13/10.  I’ve been so excited about my bourgeoning career that I couldn’t even find time to blog for over a week!

Here is the official news:  I’ve been hired as the “Assistant to the Art Department” at G. P. Putnam’s/Philomel (a part of Penguin Young Readers Group).  I’ll be working with/under the same wonderful folks for whom I interned this summer.  I get my OWN spring intern (ha!).  And I start part-time on Tuesday, with the expectation to go full-time in May.

If you had asked me two weeks ago, this is the best “dream” scenario I could have made up.  I get to work on books that I’ve always loved, with co-workers that I already adore, at one of the best publishing houses in the world.  For a salary.

What does this mean for the blog?  Well, I’m still moving onward and upward, and an entry-level job doesn’t mean that I won’t still be pursuing my dreams.  So – let me just say it now – this is my PERSONAL blog.  Any opinions, thoughts or feelings shared on it do not reflect the views of my employers, work contacts or publishers.  Especially Penguin.  Hows that for a disclaimer?

Anyway, it’s been a lot of hard work and some perfect timing, but I could not be more excited to start, and more grateful to the people in my life who helped me get here.  Please forgive me my periods of gushing!


photo creditphoto credit / photo credit

Confessions Of A Wanna-be Foodie

I have to a confession to make.  

Despite my inedible baking disasters (ask my sorority sisters), perpetual lack of groceries/clean dishes (ask my roommate), and habit of buying all my meals at the deli (ask my bank account . . . and the guy who knows my sandwich order by memory) – I’m obsessed with the culinary world.  Maybe it has something to do with the fascination of watching an art that I can’t seem to master.  Maybe I’m just always hungry.  But it started with Top Chef . . . and now it’s taking over my book choices, too.  

imageDB.cgiYesterday, I finished my latest (free!  gotta love publishing) subway read, Food Of Love, a light and enjoyable romance by Anthony Capella.  In a predictable, but lovable, series of comedic twists, flashy waiter Tommasso seduces a beautiful American art history student, Laura, by pretending to cook the food of his quiet chef friend, Bruno.  Naturally, Bruno’s in love with Laura, Laura’s in love with Bruno’s food, and all hell breaks loose like a boiling pot of pasta.  

I couldn’t help it – just like the gotta-watch-it appeal of a Bravo TV Show, I’m completely enamored with just reading the recipes and the names of all the seductive Roman dishes – zabaione, coda alla vaccinara, abbacchio alla caccciatiore, pappardelle al sugo di lepre . . . bravo!  bravo!  

Now I’m on to a different take on food (one that’s not so likely to get one “in the mood”, per se), The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan.  I was delighted to find it sitting on my desk yesterday, as a little gift from the Penguin gods, in celebration of their 75th 74th anniversary (Happy Birthday, Penguin!).  It is said to take you back to the basics of food . . . maybe it will help me improve on my own culinary skills.