pentagram: penguin phrasebooks pentagram: penguin phrasebooks
feb 20, 2013

pentagram: penguin phrasebooks

penguin phrasebooks in french, german, italian and spanish 


pentagram‘s angus hyland and his team turned to cultural cliches for the new covers of penguin’s republished 1968 edition phrasebooks.


cheese, croissants, and the eiffel tower for the french version; salami, vespas and leaning towers for the italian.


traditionally, phrasebooks have been treated as a technical and dry resource, but hyland created a playful design by repeating a series of stereotypical images from each country. the iconic penguin was seconded to project each title via a speech bubble.


‘people still love carrying around physical phrasebooks and by using these cultural icons, we’ve added a bit of ironic charm and character’.– angus hyland


german, spanish, italian and french are available now, with mandarin and japanese to be published in may.


designboom rating:

























project teamangus hyland; partner-in-charge and designer; zara moore, designer.

  • Typical Spanish.OLÉ!. – OLÉ!.
    It misses a Mexican hat.
    Above all, to finish fixing it.

    As if all Spanish, we liked the bulls and we were dressed for the street.

    What a pity, What a pity …

    Turriano says:
  • what about the inside: layout, fonts, format?

    raymondo says:
  • Inspired by Tesco’s ‘everyday value’ range no less!

    SJS says:
  • There’s a fine line between culture and cliche. I have actually packed croissants, cheese, wine, champagne, and gotten on a bike in Paris to pedal to the Eiffel Tower!

    Sheron says:
  • It says these are available now? I can’t find them anywhere.

    Matthew says:
  • @Sheron: how funny. I also packed my accordeon, my dachshund dog, some pretzels and beer and the Brandenburg gate in my beetle to go to the Neuschwanstein casttle.

    Lafundah says:

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