David Pearson’s Great Loves

Design by David Pearson, Great Loves series, 2007

Penguin brings you the most seductive, inspiring and surprising writing on love in all its infinite variety”.

So runs the blurb on the back of the Great Loves series of 2007. These small, beautifully packaged books were art-directed by David Pearson who also made made several of the illustrations.

The series of twenty books continues the tactile quality achieved in the Great Ideas series, also by Pearson. The covers’ white panels are slightly debossed and the card has a soft matte feel.

“They’re riding on the back of Great Ideas…become a bit of a franchise to be honest. We just made the illustration the hero in these, flipped everything round.”

Pearson made eight of the illustrations (including The Seducer’s Diary and Mary, presented here); Victoria Sawdon did eleven (including A Russian Affair, A Mere Interlude, Something Childish), and Claire Scully one.

To achieve the handcraft quality of the covers Pearson used rubber stamping, a variant of letterpress printing using rubber relief plates instead of wood or steel.

I’m obsessed with rubber stamps. I’m quite uptight as a designer so I need help to make things a bit loose and fractured. By rubber stamping it everything gets levelled out to the same layer. The lines start to break, the ink bulges, everything becomes much more convincing”



United by the theme of love, the writings in the Great Loves series span over two thousand years and vastly different worlds. Readers will be introduced to love’s endlessly fascinating possibilities and extremities: romantic love, platonic love, erotic love, gay love, virginal love, adulterous love, parental love, filial love, nostalgic love, unrequited love, illicit love, not to mention lost love, twisted and obsessional love…

Spines-out set of 20 Great Loves. Design by David Pearson.

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