John Miles on Penguin books

“Finally it is worth reflecting on why such care was taken in spite of what it cost. After all, I know that no matter how badly a book is produced I am quite capable of reading it through if I want to know what happens in the end. So why did we bother? It was partly the ethos of the place and of the time. Idealism was in the air. The determination to produce the best permeated the whole company. William Morris wrote: ‘Have nothing in your home which you do not know to be useful or beautiful.’ That ideal of aesthetic utility was what Penguin designers were trying to achieve at that time.”

— John Miles on Penguin’s commitment to design