Pluto Press celebrates its 50th anniversary this year with a series of reissues, events and ‘takeovers’ of like-minded bookshops.
Founded in 1969 by Richard Kuper, Pluto published works by Karl Marx, Frantz Fanon and Noam Chomsky, and was well-known for the striking covers of David Pearson, who has designed the cover for a new edition of The Communist Manifesto as part of the anniversary.
The publisher will also be reviving its Big Red Diary for 2020, last seen in 1987 – for many years Pluto produced annual diaries for organisations including CND and Spare Rib.
It is planning events and “celebratory bookshop takeovers” at indie bookshops including London’s Housmans, Five Leaves in Nottingham and News from Nowhere in Liverpool.
In 2017, Veruschka Selbach succeeded Anne Beech as m.d. and oversaw a radical rebrand and restructure of the company, with a new website alongside a new, simplified logo and brand identity that referenced “the original aesthetics of Pluto from the 1970s and reflecting its long, proud tradition of publishing”.
Commenting on the anniversary, the publisher says: “50 years is a significant milestone for an independent publisher. It’s worth celebrating that. It’s also time to set ourselves up for the next 50 years. Pluto has had ups and downs over the last half a century, but our commitment to independence, rigorous standards, and a radical and internationalist mission is stronger than ever.”