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Penguin exhibition at the RWA ends 22nd April

12 April 2012

Penguin Parade, Celebrating the Penguin Books Archive held at the University of Bristol, on show at the RWA from the 10th March closes on Sunday the 22nd April.

An exhibition produced by the University of Bristol Penguin Archive Project runs at the Royal West of England Academy (RWA) from 10th March 2012 to Sunday 22nd April. The exhibition raises awareness of the extensive Penguin Archive held in the University of Bristol Library Special Collections.

Starting with Sir Allen Lane, a Bristolian who founded Penguin books in 1935, the exhibition takes a journey over time with highlights from the history of Penguin publishing and the way in which the design of the book covers and the expanding range of titles has continued to deliver broad public appeal over 75+ years.

Penguin Parade  includes highlights from the collection, some never before exhibited externally, as well as very visual graphic representations of Penguin and its wider social context across different periods in time.

The displays are packed full of interesting content covering the birth of the Penguin brand, Britain in wartime, the development of series such as King Penguins, Penguin Classics and Poetry, the handbooks that help you live your life ‘Penguin style’, and the multitude of children’s Puffin, Ptarmigan and Peacock  information, picture and story book titles. Puffin has published some of the best known books for children including those by Roald Dahl. There is a dedicated enclosed and comfortable children’s section where they can explore and listen to stories and develop their own book brand.

The development of the iconic Penguin brand is charted through the work of the designers Jan Tschichold and Hans Schmoller. The exhibition reflects the strong use of colour adopted by Penguin – orange for fiction, green for crime and blue for biographies.

Overall, there is  a mix of striking imagery, rare books, posters, paintings and original marketing materials, unique printing blocks and bookcases as well as the opportunity to browse books you may not have seen before!

The exhibition runs until Sunday 22nd April. It, just like the Penguin brand, provides a colourful visual feast targeted at the general public, with a particular focus on families and younger readers today.

Family 'Make and Take' activities based on the appealing Penguin brand Sunday 15th and Sunday 22nd April 2-4pm.

For more detail see

For further information please contact Dr Katherine Hann, Penguin Project Curator, University of Bristol School of Humanities, 11 Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1TB. Email: Tel: 0117 331 8373 / 01275 846499.

The Penguin Archive Project is grant funded through the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC).