Penguin Random House gets trendy for its end of year campaign illustrating how society impacts our reading

Hazy and gradient pastel graphics bleed into each other as the backdrop for clean, contemporary typefaces in the publisher’s 2021 research-based reading wrap-up.

Date
2 December 2021

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The historic publishing house Penguin Random House, in a bid to connect with wider audiences, perhaps a Gen-Z audience who might have gradually dropped reading for Tik Toks, has launched a US-based end-of-year campaign. Collaborating with Posture Media – an indie, non-binary and QTPOC-owned branding agency – the publishing house has created Find Your Light, aiming to show how books have shaped this past year with research, information and data on our reading habits delivered in an easily digestible, visually attractive display.

According to the publisher, this year has been historic, not only for its hectic and somewhat overwhelming energy, but because US book sales were up 12 per cent from 2020, and 20 per cent from 2019. It seems like we turned to literature for comfort when our screens couldn’t offer salvation. The campaign invites readers to discover what brings them joy, and aims to celebrate the power of books in shaping us and our culture.

GalleryPosture Media: Find Your Light (Copyright © Penguin Random House, 2021)

A video narrated by Phoebe Robinson, a bestselling author of the book series which features her latest Please Don't Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes, and the founder of Tiny Reparations Books, highlights the books that went viral, the genres that were popular, and readers’ interactions with Penguin’s featured books and authors. This then hopes to reveal what our reading habits can tell us about the collective experience of 2021 (I know I have some words to describe the experience, but I’ll let the campaign do the talking). The video shows how political and social movements across the year have impacted our reading habits, and the books that have entered and re-entered our cultural zeitgeist, whether in the mainstream or on the periphery.

Living across OOH in ten major cities across the US, the campaign will also launch across video, digital and social media platforms. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Washington DC, Houston, Boston, and Atlanta will all be home to the campaign.

It should be noted that its similarity to Spotify’s Wrapped campaign is not lost. The music streaming platform launches personalised “wrap ups” at the end of each year, its biggest annual project. This year, designers went for a pastel-gradient identity, linking colours to a user’s listening “auras” (mine were “melancholy” and “dramatic,” I don’t know what that says about me), similar to one “finding their light”.

Posture Media: Find Your Light (Copyright © Penguin Random House, 2021)

GalleryPosture Media: Find Your Light (Copyright © Penguin Random House, 2021)

Posture Media: Find Your Light (Copyright © Penguin Random House, 2021)

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Posture Media: Find Your Light (Copyright © Penguin Random House, 2021)

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About the Author

Dalia Al-Dujaili

Dalia joined It’s Nice That as a news writer in July 2021 after graduating in English Literature from The University of Edinburgh. She's written for various indie publications such as Azeema and Notion, and ran her own magazine and newsletter platforming marginalised creativity.

dad@itsnicethat.com

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