Artist Jillian Tamaki For Penguin

March 30, 2011

These have been blogged a few times already but I had to throw my opinion into the ring because I was so blown away when I saw a link to these embroidered book jackets by Penguin, as created by illustrator and cartoonist Jillian Tamaki. Freshly Blended shared these in her Flickr stream and my heart started to race.

Artist Jillian Tamaki For Penguin

I am a lady obsessed with detail, and although the copies we purchase will not be embroidered like the original for obvious reasons, the point is that these are very special jackets in that they were created by hand before turning them into a book cover and owning one supports those who are commissioned to do such work for large companies — at least in my opinion. I love seeing these types of collaborations. I also like that Jillian shares her process on her blog right here with some “in progress” photos – something I always love to see.

What do you think of these jackets, are you also dying to order them?

(images: jillian tamaki)


  • Reply Danielle of Pretty Ingrid March 30, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    These are so amazing! I’m really loving to see how artists are collaborating with publishing companies to design book covers. I’ve seen some truly special designs, and Jillian’s work is no exception! I don’t feel guilty for judging a book by its cover any longer ;)

  • Reply Jess @ HouseSweetHome March 30, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Yes! I am dying to order them! I love nothing more than a beautiful book. I love those. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Francesca March 30, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I completely agree with your comment about detail. I too appreciate this kind of attention and particularly in the context of literature, it’s lovely to see it. It disturbs me that the new generation of readers are gaining their experience through technological resources. As wonderful as it is that we are so progressed, I find it sad that children are learning to read from a computer rather than learning the joys of turning a page and bending a spine. These book sleeves bring a little of the magic back. Very charming.

  • Reply sami March 30, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    omg, these are so colorful and amazing. if i did not have an “i will not buy a book at full price, ever” policy i would totally buy them right now!


  • Reply Desiree Fawn March 30, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Oh wow… these are beyond stunning! <3

  • Reply tinajo March 30, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Wow, creative and fun – what´s not to love?! :-)

  • Reply elisa March 30, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    these covers are really wonderful! it’s incredible that’s handmade…i know how much time it costs. great!!!

  • Reply Lesley Myrick March 30, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Oh my gosh, those are absolutely beautiful! I love that they’re done in a very classic fashion, but with a modern illustrative twist. Just lovely. :)

  • Reply Rose March 30, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Holly – what a honey you are for bringing this to the fore. I just love it. I went to her site and the images are nothing but stunning. Although I have been decorating and designing for more years than I care to acknowledge, I am not crafty with me own hands. So, my heart fills with admiration for someone who can come up with this sort of talent.
    Don’t you just love all these wonderful ‘things’ that fill the interior spaces of our homes and our hearts? I do!!

  • Reply Shari March 30, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    I love the Secret Garden cover… I love the book as well! I think it’s always a great idea to support artists!! I have a soft spot for them, being one myself.
    I’m glad you are an art supporter, and a craft supporter. It makes a big difference in the world, in my opinion! People helping people… it works its way around, doesn’t it?

  • Reply Katie Bee March 31, 2011 at 3:50 am

    I love these so much. I’m always aware of and deeply interested in the relation between textual and visual aesthetics (thinking about using this in my master’s thesis eventually), and definitely a sucker for a good-looking book. These fit perfectly. I might just go and order one now.

  • Reply lesley March 31, 2011 at 7:00 am

    i think they’re absolutely stunning. funny, i was just on her site ogling the details in the covers before i headed over here and saw this post! ;)
    i would love to have the books with these printed covers, they are gorgeous.

  • Reply Alexis March 31, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Those are so beautiful! What a gorgeous style, beautiful pieces of art. I definitely am tempted to order some :).

  • Reply Casey Craig Art March 31, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Very creative and inspiring! It makes me want to touch them even though I know they are printed. I totally agree with Francesca, there is no substitute for holding a book.

  • Reply Katie Truelove March 31, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Really and truly gorgeous! I also love that Penguin supports and partners with artists– what a great collaboration! I hadn’t seen these yet– thanks!:)

  • Reply Emma April 1, 2011 at 12:04 am

    These are amazingly fabulous! I have been given several special copies of ‘Emma’ over the years, but this would by far top the list. So, so, so very pretty. I love her freckles and bonnet and wispy colourful hair. Love!

  • Reply patience April 1, 2011 at 1:21 am

    oh my gosh for a moment I thought each copy would be embroidered – thanks for explaining. still incredibly neat!

  • Reply Jennifer April 1, 2011 at 7:35 am

    You are right – amazing detail in her work. Such dedication and time. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Reply meenal @ maison marigold April 1, 2011 at 9:17 am

    aren’t these gorgeous!! literature+art …a truly unique treasure!! xx meenal

  • Reply Once upon a Time April 1, 2011 at 11:59 am

    WOW! WOW! WOW!

  • Reply belinda April 2, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    i’m so in love with these covers. The creativity and cleverness some people possess astounds me. They could have been crappy books and I’d still wait patiently to buy them just for the covers. But it just so happens The Secret Garden is one of my fave childhood books – in fact, I recently re-read it – and I adore Emma. And, well, I’d prob get the Black Beauty too because odd numbers are better than evens and it’d be nice to refresh my memory about what that story is about (I get it confused with another horse story; the name of which escapes me…)
    So yes, can’t wait till these are available to buy.

  • Reply Neena@ Practical Decorating Ideas April 3, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Beautiful! What a gorgeous way to display the classics. The designs are original and fresh – and will definitely become a conversation piece, whenever guests arrive.

  • Reply nap atelier April 3, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    …oh yes, I’m in love with these!

  • Reply Covet Living April 4, 2011 at 2:06 am

    I’ve actually always judged a book by its cover…it really helped encourage reading when I was younger. I love how she has transformed classical books and their covers to appeal to a new generation!

  • Reply Belichek Craft April 4, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Incredibly beautiful illustrations.

    xo Belichek

  • Reply roberto | vinilos decorativos April 5, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    wow!! the covers are very nice but I´m impressed with the original work. I didn´t know it can do design graphic in that mode. I love it

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