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Foolproof

Greg Ip
Authors:
Greg Ip

Over the past century, we have learned a staggering amount about human nature and how to deal with disaster - yet we keep having car crashes, floods and financial crises. Why is this so?The answer is partly that our desire to make life safer inevitably comes into conflict with the equally irrepressible desire to make things bigger and more complicated. It is our nature to safeguard our world - and yet sometimes, more often than we realise, the very things we create to protect ourselves, end up being the things that threaten our safety and well-being. Take for example anti-locking braking systems on cars - designed to stop us skidding, they actually encourage us to drive faster. Or the 2008 financial crisis - did the steps taken to make the economy more stable in the preceding years encourage behaviour that made a new, devastating crisis inevitable? Experience shows us that we can never build a completely foolproof system because humans will always find a way to muck it up. But we can learn from past mistakes and understand that in order to thrive, we must not take the reckless path or the path that seems safest, but a measure of something in between. In engaging stories and practical takeaways Foolproof shows us how to stop trying to make the world unbreakable, and take advantage of risk.

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Blog: The Comeback of Erotica

The ‘Fifty Shades’ phenomenon is currently taking the world by storm. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard of EL James’ erotica trilogy, featuring the enigmatic Christian Grey and his unconventional, not-exactly-vanilla relationship with heroine Anastasia Steele.

An insight into how the gorgeous new covers for Penny's bestselling novels were created

Designing the Perfect Cover for Penny Vincenzi

Below are some of the approaches which weren’t successful as the impression the new lettering gave was too harsh, too sharp-edged, difficult to read, too cold etc. However, the bottom far right visual was ultimately a winner as it’s authoritative while still being feminine and legible. We also wanted to change the imagery, and created a rich and impactful cover which conveys success, luxury and elegance. It’s tricky to draw comparisons with other authors within this genre, as Penny stands alone in being chic and confident; unrivaled. Penny’s The Spoils of Time Trilogy was also in need of updating. Our wonderful picture researcher found exceptional imagery, by cropping in carefully and adding a subtle boost of colour. The new branding provided a strong template for these images to work within. The overall feel of each Penny Vincenzi cover should reflect the decade in which the novel is set, while also being timeless and fresh enough to appeal to the contemporary market. We wanted to give this very special author’s books a unique stamp – we hope that you like our new style!