Penguin Bookcase (2020)

Yellow Pencil Winner D&AD 2020 Penguin Bookcase gives young people the opportunity to become more connected through physical books. In a world where audiobooks are becoming the new norm, Bookcase is encouraging young people to realise the importance of physical books and illustrates how books can bring people together in our disconnected world. Taking inspiration from familiar apps like Depop and Tinder, Bookcase is a new platform where members can trade books with others around the world. Members are encouraged to annotate and log their books to provide users with real time connection and a more tangible reading experience. Alongside Bookcase, Penguin Editions gives users the chance to receive recommendations from their favourite musicians and attend exclusive music events for members. View official case study here:

Insights - Audiobooks are not improving our literacy skills. The majority of young adults don’t read for pleasure. It’s not that they can’t. It’s that they choose not to. In England, 31% of adults don’t read in their free time, rising to 46% of young people (aged 16 to 24). Around 5.8 million people (16% of adults) in England and Northern Ireland score at the lowest level of proficiency in literacy) at or below Level 1).

UX - Using elements from Tinder and Depop to create an app that will be familiar to the target audience. Through tools like swiping, trading and the ability to gain clout through followers and successful trades.


1. Users can easily set up a profile and begin trading.

2. Before a book is placed in circulation users fill out a bookplate to add to the cover of the books. This adds the personalised element and creates a unique history for each book.

3. Members can build tangible connections with the previous readers of each book.

4. Users are also encouraged to respectfully annotate the books with thoughts that can be shared with future readers/traders.


Members receive benefits for the amount of successful trades they participate in. These rewards can be used to buy new Penguin books directly from the Bookcase app.

Environmental Impact

The target audience of 18-30 year olds are looking for more sustainable ways to shop. Bookcase offers environmental benefits by keeping in line with trading apps like Depop. Used books are to be recycled in the trading system and there will be an increased encouragement of reusing our belongings.

New Experiences

Branching into a new space with Penguin Editions. Penguin has the opportunity to branch into a new area of popular culture and into the music industry. Taking inspiration from the already existing collaboration with British artist Stormzy with #Merky Books.

Project Tags


  • D&AD New Blood Festival 2020

    D&AD New Blood Festival 2020

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