Books, Visual Arts

David Pearson: The Daniel Day Lewis of Book Design?

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Or is he the Paul Thomas Anderson? Anyway, he is one of the world’s true superstars of book design, and you shouldn’t miss seeing him.
We are talking of David Pearson, the designer who restored the Penguin brand as a powerhouse in design this century, his covers helping to sell millions of copies along the way. He is a true superstar; and he really does have connections to Hollywood — he consulted on Wes Anderson’s wonderful The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Pearson will give a talk in Sydney, and a talk and workshop in Melbourne as part of the Melbourne Writers’ Festival (come on down, Sydney). I’ll be chairing his talk in Melbourne, that is providing the intro and fielding the questions. I met him in London early this year and for all his astonishing talent and design hotness (he is extremely sought after), he’s also very affable and, yes, a nice bloke.
The Guardian had this line about him: ‘Pearson has made the humble paperback covetable again’. I can second that. A while ago, when I came across the Penguin ‘Great Ideas’ series in the beautiful, tactile white stock with debossed type graphics, I fell in love with little volumes all over again and eventually bought the set. This is why we have printed books.
Anyway, to use that problematic G word, I think Pearson is some kind of genius. If you have any interest in design and style — let’s say, Beauty –and the intelligent application of image and pattern in this chaotic world, you will want to see him.
Here are the dates:
SYDNEY at the Powerhouse Museum: 6:30pm Tuesday, August 25. (Brought by AGDA and ABDA, the Australian Book Designers Association)
MELBOURNE at Deakin Edge as part of the MWF: 7pm  Saturday, August 29  (Brought by MWF and ABDA)
MELBOURNE workshop: 2pm Sunday, August 30. (Very limited spaces)

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