Penguin Pick Up Lines

D&AD New Blood Entry 2020
South West Design & Digital Awards 2020 – Winner


Heighten the reading experience for young people aged
18 - 30.


Young people often follow trends, reviews recommendations when faced with the overwhelming choice of books available online. This is based on superficial impressions, rather than a true connection to the writing itself. 

Penguin Pick Up Lines is an online service that removes covers, reviews and trends that many young people follow; instead matching users with the first lines of books. It allows readers to discover new and unexpected writing that they truly connect with, as, much like dating – it’s what’s inside that really counts, so why judge a book by its cover?

The main element of the service is the website, which replaces book covers and reviews with the first line of the book. Once the reader finds a ‘Pick Up Line’ in the randomised selection which captures their heart, they can read the first page and the key themes to help decide whether to buy the full book.

The campaign focuses on the idea of connection and the ‘unexpected’ – e.g. on Tinder, amongst the potential dates, a reader might find a ‘Pick Up Line’ which will lead them to the website.

Stamps are used when a user orders the book in print. This will advertise the service to others and create a sense of intrigue, whilst emphasising the personal connection that the service provides through the idea of sending a letter or a message.