Via BoingBoing, Videogame Classics – a set on Flickr. Old media meets new.
The original Penguin and Pelican book covers of the 1930s were inspired by earlier German designs for Albatros books (Albatros, Penguin, geddit?), which were very “new typography” in their use of sans serif fonts on the cover, with an even colour on the page.
For their typography, Penguin used Eric Gill’s (then new) Gill Sans for the covers and Stanley Morrison’s (then new) Times New Roman for the text inside the book.
After the second world war, the founder of the German New Typography movement Jan Tschichold, who had fled to Switzerland to escape Nazi persecution (Hitler hated sans serif fonts: fact), was invited by Penguin to oversee a redesign of their paperback range.
He came up with a subtle change in the look of the covers (example above), allowing the title/subject of the book to influence some of the cover. I believe the text in the books was then change from Times New Roman to Plantin. Tschichold later helped design Sabon, which is a beautiful serif typeface reminiscent of Garamond.