Penguin Books, the Early Days

“Paperback books did not exist before the launch of Penguins on Tuesday 30 1935. But what publishers all too often got wrong was the balance of price, convenience of format and excellence of scholarship, the essential elements required of cheap pocket editions ever since the printer and publisher Aldus Manutius pioneered the genre in Venice at the start of the sixteenth century. Penguin perfected the balance, combining design and sound writing to such good effect that after only ten years the name Penguin and the word ‘paperback’ were — much to [founder Allen] Lane’s annoyance — virtually synonymous.”

Penguin By Design, Phil Baines