Synopses & Reviews
From A to Z, the Penguin Drop Caps series collects 26 unique hardcovers featuring 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 and 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 launches with six perennial favorites to give as elegant gifts, or to showcase on your own shelves.
H is for Hesse. A young Brahmin named Siddhartha searches for ultimate reality after meeting with the Buddha. His quest takes him from a life of decadence to asceticism, from the illusory joys of sensual love with a beautiful courtesan, and of wealth and fame, to the painful struggles with his son and the ultimate wisdom of renunciation. Integrating Eastern and Western spiritual traditions with psychoanalysis and philosophy, written with a deep and moving empathy for humanity, Herman Hesse's strangely simple Siddhartha is perhaps the most important and compelling moral allegory the troubled twentieth century ever produced.
Winner of the 2012 Fifty Books/Fifty Covers show, organized by Design Observer in association with AIGA and Designers and 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 theyre beautiful objects. Paul Buckley and Jessica Hisches 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 Austens A (Pride and Prejudice) is formed by opulent peacock feathers and Charlotte Brontes 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."
About the Author
Hermann Hesse (1877-1962) spent World War I in Switzerland. After the war and a psychological crisis, he removed himself to the small town of Montagnola, where he created his best-known works. He received many important honors, including the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946.
Joachim Neugroschel (19382011) translated numerous books from French, German, Italian, Russian, and Yiddish. The winner of three PEN translation awards and the French-American Foundation translation prize, he translated Thomas Mann's Death in Venice, E. T. A. Hoffman and Alexadre Dumas's Nutcracker and Mouse King, and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's Venus in Furs for Penguin Classics. He also compiled several anthologies including Great Tales of Jewish Fantasy and the Occult, A Dybbuk and Other Tales of the Supernatural, and The Golem: A New Translation of the Classic Play and Selected Short Stories.
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 Magazines "New Visual Artists". She has designed for Wes Anderson, McSweeney's, Tiffany and Co, Penguin Books and many others. She resides primarily in San Francisco, occasionally in Brooklyn.