Mostly, people don't pay too much attention to publishers. They're like movie studios--you never go to a film because it was made by MGM rather than Twentieth Century Fox. But there are exceptions. There are certain publishers that make books that are such good reads, and that also look so good, that any time you see their logo on the shelf at the store it jumps out at you and makes you pick up the book to see what they're up to these days. Below, my top five current publisher infatuations:
Persephone Books. Small British publisher of forgotten 20th Century novels, mostly by women. Paperbacks in adorable gray dustjackets, with gorgeous endpapers drawn from textiles of the period the book was written. Pure perfection.
Europa Editions. Awesome literature in translation. There is not nearly enough translated fiction in the English-speaking world. These guys are working on fixing that.
Penguin clothbound classics. Of course Penguin has long been a stalwart source of classic fiction in paperback, but when they decided to start making hardcovers, man-oh-man did they make them pretty. Pretty!
New York Review Books Classics. There was a time when I wanted to buy every single book these guys published--brilliant reissues and translations--but their multitude of colored spines has long since outstripped my buying, not to mention reading, power.
Archipelago Books. Granted, I've only read the two books above from these guys (more translations). But they are both so amazingly good, and so beautifully produced, that my book crush is officially confirmed.