PATTERNS OF LIFE: Exploring the patterns shaping our planet with Penguin Vintage Classics

A Bold Collectors Series Redesign of the Globes Most Highly Respected Cult Science and Sustainability Classics

The PATTERNS OF LIFE book series taps into the growing concern about humanity’s impact on the environment, and examines our relationship with the world we live in. Titles include Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species and Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens, alongside Cradle to Cradle by Michael Braungart and William McDonough, Adventures in the Anthropocene by Gaia Vince and Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel.

“These books are very in line with our philosophy in that they tell important stories; stories that impact our times, and the patterns of our past, present and future lives. This project was the perfect opportunity to implement our design and storytelling approach to bring together these seminal texts as one whole, and help draw attention to the patterns of time that have shaped culture.”
We wanted to celebrate the messages of these books – although completely unique, each one is also united in the shared exploration of our human impact on the planet, our shared place called home. 
We have created individual designs referencing key aspects of each title. The colours reference those found on the original books and the geometric shapes and patterns for each title are simple, visual responses to the depth and complexity of the content inside.  Sapiens, for example, references the top-down, rigid, pyramid structures in anthropocentric power.  The spiralling Fibonacci pattern on The Origin of Species celebrates the universal pattern of growth and evolution, a numeric system, unchanged for millennia, whilst Guns, Germs and Steel explores how human history has unfolded across the globe – the pattern is a stylised representation of an Alan Turing pattern – a nod to bacterial microbes competitively fighting for space.
“Patterns are a way for us to deepen our human understanding and our feeling of deep ecology. In a world that seems frightening, overwhelming or chaotic, it can be nourishing to look to patterns as signpost towards a worldview that shows we are all connected and part of this radiant tapestry of being.”
Anna + Grace
Cradle to Cradle’s linear pattern resembles modern manufacturing methods. The book’s proposal of a new vision for industry acknowledges “the power of innovative design thinking and man-made structures to work in alliance with the natural world” Singular and purposeful processes crossover and separate – working in alignment with one another, but without a fixed pattern. 

The word Anthropocene describes the new epoch in which we’re living – one defined by the changes we humans have made to the natural world, and as a result, our planet is said to be crossing into the Anthropocene – or the Age of Humans. the fluid cover design represents how humans have irreversibly affected the shape of the land, the purity of our oceans and the biomass of nature.   
“It felt important that the patterns and colours of the series worked both as single books and as a united whole. The sphere on the spines across all the texts is a key aspect of our design approach. When the books are placed on the shelf they create a large sphere – a visual statement on the cyclical nature of time, the shape of unity, wholeness and our collective home – a shape that unifies these seminal texts”
Grace Winteringham

The full series and individual books are available to buy from all good bookshops