Ladybird Books Richard I - Art by Frank Hampson

Ladybird Books celebrates 100th anniversary in 2015

Ladybird Books Richard I - Art by Frank Hampson
The cover of Ladybird Books Richard I – Art by Frank Hampson

Ladybird Books – whose artists in the past included Dan Dare creator Frank Hampson and fellow Eagle artists Martin Aitchison and Frank Humphris along with TV21 artist Ron Embleton – will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2015. To coincide with the centenary, the Penguin Licensing and Consumer Products team has announced it is developing a new three year licensing and consumer products programme that will launch to coincide with the anniversary.

The programme includes new Vintage Ladybird branded products in Autumn/Winter 2014, along with a range of dated and un-dated stationery products from Portico and calendars, as well as a range of retro wooden postcards from The Wooden Postcard Company.

Penguin are also seeking licensees in games and puzzles, gifting, arts and crafts, retro food and beverages and home wares.

The centenary will be marked by the publication of two new books, Ladybird A Cover Story and Ladybird by Design, and London’s University of the Arts will also host a major exhibition of Ladybird design.

“Ladybird is a part of the fabric of British life and is recognised and loved the world over,” said Susan Bolsover, head of licensing and consumer products, Penguin UK.

J. H. Wingfield, Frank Hampson and Ron Embleton collaborated on this art for "The Pied Piper of Hamlin"
J. H. Wingfield, Frank Hampson and Ron Embleton collaborated on this art for “The Pied Piper of Hamlin”

“The centenary gives us an opportunity to engage with consumers of all ages and celebrate this iconic brand. We’re continuing to lay the groundwork ahead of a really exciting year and are working with a whole host of licensees, retailers and promotional partners on a range of products inspired by this anniversary.”undwork ahead of a really exciting year and are working with a whole host of licensees, retailers and promotional partners on a range of products.”

• Buy Ladybird Book Prints: www.ladybirdprints.com
(Unfortunately, you can’t search by artist on this site, but you can use search terms in your regular search engine such as “Frank Hampson site:http://www.ladybirdprints.com” to find all the art credited to Hampson on the site, and similarly for “Frank Humphris“, “R. Embleton“)

• Ladybird Books Official Site: www.ladybird.co.uk

• Vintage Ladybird Books: www.vintageladybird.com

• Penguin Licensing: www.penguinlicensing.com

Ladybird Books © Ladybird Books Ltd.

 

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

One thought on “Ladybird Books celebrates 100th anniversary in 2015

  1. It would appear we have uncovered a Ladybird book Frank Hampson worked on that some fans were, perhaps, previously unaware of. Jeremy Briggs tells me “12c The Open Door To Reading” is the last of the 36 Keywords reading scheme books used by schools and appears to be a selection of snippets from other (non-Ladybird) books.

    “Hampson did one of the earlier Keywords books which in pre-eBay days was really hard to find secondhand,” says Jeremy.

    “The search on that Ladybird Prints website is frustrating since It doesn’t recognise the artists’ names but this page shows all the images from the 12c title.
    http://www.ladybirdprints.com/category/6545/peter-and-jane/12c-the-open-door-to-reading/page/1/view/32

    “It was unusual for more than one artist to work on an individual (old) Ladybird book – I can’t think of any other title that is credited to more than one. I would say that individual images are by individual artists so it will be a matter for sorting out which image is by which artist.”

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