Posted on October 14 2015
"Noel Carrington is an unsung hero. Today, aside from a few collectors and enthusiasts, he is generally unknown, a footnote man who appears fleetingly in indexes of biographies of the Bloomsbury Circle, design journals or publishing histories. Yet Noel Carrington was one of the most influential figures of the 20th Century in the commissioning, editing and publishing of children's picture books."
This quote refers to the greatest achievement of Noel Carrington, the creation Puffin Picture Books. Carrington was a book designer, editor and publisher who had an eye for design and a firm belief that "nothing need be ugly".
Carrington was a prolific editor and producer of books for Country Lane, working closely with of Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious on their collaborative book The High Street - now one of the most highly-prized artists' books from it's time.
It was the meeting of Carrington and Penguin Books founder Allan Lane at a publishing dinner in 1938 that lead to the production of Puffin Picture Books. It had been Carrington's desire to create a range of books for children that combined beautiful lithograph illustrations with easy to understand explanations of the world we live in; environments, history, geography and recreation being just a few of the subject to be explored.