Pevsner guides 10.07.13

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The desire to redesign the Pevsner guides doesn't come from any strong feelings about the existing format, but rather from an attachment to the books themselves. We want to propose a different approach that might broaden their appeal.

In the 1960s, when the guides were first published, each county was represented by a different colour on the dust jacket – for both the hardback and paperback editions. Since then, the design of the covers has become gradually more sober, in the tradition of modern academic publishing. Although the books are used by academics and professionals, their audience was intended to be much wider.

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For our edition of the guides we have designed an alphabet comprising architectural elements and details and used it to spell out the names of the counties on each cover. Like the early guides of the 60s, we have also used a different colour for each county. To balance the complexity and variety of the architectural lettering, we have chosen to combine it with Akzidenz-Grotesk, adding the series title and repeating the county name and, in cases where a county is divided between books, the further details.

A return to a more colourful and playful design with a paperback format could increase readership, bringing an invaluable resource to many more people. The guides would be less expensive, the paperback format would be more portable and the variety of colours could make them more desirable to collect.

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For our edition of the guides we have designed an alphabet comprising architectural elements and details and used it to spell out the names of the counties on each cover

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