Book Fetish

Variations on Penguin Book Cover Mugs

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Rachel Brittain

Contributing Editor

Rachel is a writer from Arkansas, most at home surrounded by forests and animals much like a Disney Princess. She spends most of her time writing stories and playing around in imaginary worlds. You can follow her writing at Twitter and Instagram: @rachelsbrittain

I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of obsessed with Penguin mugs. And, um, to be clear, I don’t mean this little guy—no matter how adorable he is.

I love those flightless fluffs as much as the next person, but the Penguin mugs I’m talking about have more to do with books and less to do with aquatic birds. I’m talking classic Penguin, the publisher started in the 1930s and the iconic orange and white cover design by Edward Young. You know the ones. There have been variations over the years, including some modern updates on the classics, but the original designs are just so iconic and eye-catching. These variations on penguin book cover mugs are the perfect throwback to those original designs, from authentic recreations to playful parodies.

In a post about classic Penguin Books and their original orange and white cover design, we’d be remiss not to include these beautiful mugs from the UK. Find your favorite classics from authors like Virginia Woolf and Jane Austen. It’s like having a library in your mug cupboard!

Virgina Woolf and Jane Austen Cover Mugs from Penguin Book Mugs |

But let’s be honest, what you’re really here for are some artful redesigns of the classics—and it just doesn’t get any better or more classically book nerdy than this Go Away! I’m Reading mug by A Rose Cast on Society6.

Go Away! I'm Reading Mug from Penguin Book Mugs |

Or if you’re looking for more of an in-joke with all your fellow Douglas Adams fans, this Vogon Poetry design is so spot-on hilarious. The Oolon Colluphid Philisophical Works collection from the same creator is also excellent. I’m more than a little tempted to start a Betelgeuse Books mug collection of my own.

Vogon Poetry Mug from Penguin Book Mugs |

If the classic Penguin Books penguin is your favorite aspect of the cover design, this beautiful Penguin logo color pop mug was basically made just for you.

Penguin Logo Mug from Penguin Book Mugs |

Or for a more understated look, you could go with this classic black and white design from dorisrdean on Red Bubble.

Black Penguin Classics Mug from Penguin Book Mugs |

But orange is, of course, the real star of the cover design, and it comes back to play in a big way in this mug featuring an enlarged version of George Orwell’s 1984 in all its glory.

1984 Penguin Cover Mug from Penguin Book Mugs |

And if you just can’t decide (aside from the obvious option of collecting them all, Pokemon style), there’s always this mug featuring the classic Penguin penguin holding a whole set of books. It’s like the best of all worlds.

Penguin Box Set Mug from Penguin Book Mugs |

You can also read about one Rioter’s obsession with Australian Penguin Books covers. Or, if you’re a bit cover obsessed like me, you might enjoy our roundup of the best covers of 2019, this look into cover redesigns, and this roundup of Pride and Prejudice covers.