Penguin was founded by Allen Lane.
Penguin was founded by Allen Lane.

The bird logo which speaks of survival

Penguin founder Allen Lane had already decided that the logo would have a bird, but after a sea-wreck survival story came out, he found the perfect designer for his publishing house

One of the biggest names in the publishing industry is Penguin, founded by Allen Lane. In 1934, Lane was walking back after meeting his friend, Agatha Christie, when he noticed that all the books at a station bookstore seemed to be of poor quality and overpriced. Lane believed that high quality contemporary fiction shouldn’t just be available at bookstores but also at railway stations and tobacco shops, and sold at an attractive price. By 1935, he had founded Penguin Books and changed the publishing world forever. The first Penguin paperbacks, with coloured covers, cost the same price as a pack of cigarettes.

He had already decided to have a bird logo, and sent out another employee to the London zoo to make some sketches. But the first Penguin logo, of a ‘dignified but flippant’ penguin was ultimately designed by Edward Young, a young submariner. His boat unfortunately collided and sank to the bottom of the North Sea, while Young swam to safety, revealed the book Champions of Design by Silas Amos.

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