Rick Poynor on Pelham and King

“Politics was one area that held little interest for David Pelham as a designer. As King recalled, ‘Penguin did an enormous amount of political books and he gave them all to me to design. So he actually kept me alive for about two years, especially since I had a terrible car crash and couldn’t work for about six months.’ Some designers would need to be encouraged to read as much of the books as possible, but Pelham had total confidence in King’s ability to understand the subject matter and arrive at an appropriate interpretation of the cover. He enjoyed King’s company, seeing him as a ‘deeply thoughtful and concerned humanist with a profound social conscience’, and he has vivid recollections of the way King operated in the late 1970s, as he perused his research. ‘He would turn up in my studio at Penguin with a bag on his shoulder, bringing in a job. I’d arrange for him to be paid there and then, for one or two jobs, but you know it would only be about £120 in total that he was relying on. He said, ‘In my bag, I’ve got my notebooks, my camera, two pairs of pants and a vest.’ He was on his way to the airport. He collected that cheque and cashed it on the way.'”

— Rick Poynor on David Pelham and David King (via)