Shakespeare Gentleman Illustrator

The first Shakespeare Penguin titles appeared in 1940. They were designed by the steadfast classicist Jan Tschichold.

By the late 1960s the series was looking dated. Penguin was trying to be less literal and more cerebral, and designer Germano Facetti had the answer.

In revamping the Bard’s work, Facetti commissioned David Gentleman to create an illustration for each play.

| New Penguin Shakespeare 1967, David Gentleman |

I have many teenage memories of these covers. A lot of them very confused about Shakespeare.

Among other things, Gentleman is one of the most prolific stamp designers in Britain and if you’ve been to Charing Cross underground station in London, you would have seen his striking 100 metre mural.

| David Gentleman, Charing Cross Underground Station Mural, Women mixing mortar, wood engraving, 1978 |

You can see more of Gentleman’s work here.

Julia Ritson

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