Pt. 2.1: Book covers by Franco Grignani

The work above is one of 16 book covers that was designed by Franco Grignani in 1969. Penguin Books  publishing house was facing an economic crisis so Penguin hired a new art director David Pelham commissioned Grignani to draw attention back to Penguin. Grigani’s work was perfect for this job because of his experimental photography and photograms that utilized distorted images and broken mirrors or oil and water. These covers included imagery from the books in a strange, distorted way, and the use of a single color with black backgrounds lends itself to the dark aura of science fiction. These covers drew readers in with interesting covers and dreamlike worlds. Since grignani never really conformed to one style or movement I don’t think that this reflects anything, but his work leaves viewers to fill spaces with images from their own mind and its really cool.

Personally, I really love these covers, I think that the photogram esc forms and distorted lines that are quintessential Grignani, really lend itself to these science fiction titles, much better than those weird cheesy alien landscapes on other covers. Some of these titles were written by the most well known science fiction writers at that time, and such immersive writing deserves an equally immersive cover, and I think Grignani achieved that.



Camera, Emiliano. “Sci-Fi for Penguin Books.” Franco Grignani, 27 Feb. 2022,