Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Penguin Tote Offer, but Beware of Faux Penguins!

Tonight's the night! In the store is Josie Brown, author of Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives. At Sugar Maple, Justin Cronin and Dan Chaon. Posters available for $5.

Tomorrow the Mini Cooper stops at Boswell, from 11 AM to 12:30 PM. The fabulous Penguin bags have arrived and we've got a special offer. Starting at 11 AM tomorrow morning, and while supplies last, you can get a free bag with the purchase of any Penguin book. Now it can't be corporate Penguin USA. It must have the Penguin on the spine.

Little known fact #1: for a year or two, the company put Penguins on their releases from Plume, the old trade paperback imprint of New American Library that they acquired. They eventually reversed this decision.

Another caveat--only "new" Penguin books count towards this offer. Second hand and bargain editions do not apply. To stock the table, I went around the store pulling Penguin titles for your easy browsing. Over the years, Penguin USA has alternated between making the spines orange, and not making the spines orange. Classics are usually with a black spine, but not all of them. The Penguin itself is generally in an orange field, except for mystery/suspense, which is on a green background.

Little known fact #2: Biographies originally had a blue spine. There were other category/color matches. If you know them, why not comment on this post?

One fascinating detail was what I call fraudulent Penguins. These are books that mimic the Penguin color iconography but are not Penguins. I do not include books that are predominantly orange, like Little Bee or Sam Savage's The Cry of the Sloth.

No, these are books that really don't use orange except for an accent detail on the rest of the book, but the spine is pretty much classic Penguin orange. Faux Penguins!

Did I find this stylistic tic with other colors, such as yellow or light green? Yes, I did. As often? No. As noticeable? No. It's clear that using this design detail seems to indicate to designers that the book is quality literature. There was nothing trashy (yes, we have plenty) in the bunch.

You can also distinguish yourself as quality by taking advantage of our free Penguin bag offer tomorrow. We also have free posters--no purchase necessary (one per customer) and postcards.


Rebecca said...

I prefer to call them Penguin Impostors.

B said...

How fun!

Kerry said...

Sounds like a great event! I've never seen a "Faux Penguin" but will have to keep an eye out.