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Classic Colors: Dick Bruna

Classic Colors: Dick Bruna


Dick Bruna is best known for his children's books which he authored and illustrated, now numbering over 200. His best known creation is Miffy (Nijntje in the original Dutch), a small rabbit drawn with heavy graphic lines, simple shapes and primary colors.

Aside from his prolific catalog of children's books, Bruna also illustrated and designed book covers, posters and promotional materials for his father's publishing company A.W. Bruna and Zoon. His most popular designs graced the covers of the Zwarte Beertjes series of books.

Children's Books

Miffy is a small female rabbit in a series of picture books drawn and written by Dutch artist Dick Bruna. Her original Dutch name is Nijntje [nɛɪ̯ncǝ] which stems from a toddler's pronunciation of the word "konijntje" meaning "little rabbit".

The first Miffy book was produced in 1955, and almost 30 others have followed. In total they have sold over 85 million copies, and inspired a television series as well as items such as clothes and toys featuring the character.

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Other Designs

In these book cover designs Dick Bruna experimented with collage, montage and the influences of Matisse, Leger and Mondrian in the development of his unique style. These clear designed covers became not only trade-marks of the publishing company but they became so iconical that they needed no words to convey messages intended for publicity. The book covers are considered a landmark in international graphic design.

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Dick Bruna Huis

The work of Dick Bruna is on permanent display in the Dick Bruna Huis opposite the Centraal Museum in Utrecht. *Correction: Photos are not from Dick Bruna Huis but rather of a piece by artist Krijn de Koning in the Centraal Museum Utrecht.

brunahuis Photos by hawktrainer

Dick Bruna Inspired Color

Miffy Miffy

Dick_Bruna_was_here dick_bruna

Sources & Links:

Official Site | Wikipedia (*note: Wikipedia is currently seeking funding please consider donating to this invaluable site.) | Telegraph Feature


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7 Comments
Showing 1 - 7 of 7 Comments

tvr

ooooooooh I grew up with dick bruna's books! I'm pretty sure a few folks as Orphan Annie and stfn did also! thanks for this amazing article, it just took me back to my childhood! :)

Kodia

Nice post. But a small correction: the photos at the bottom, of the colored interiors, have little to do with Dick Bruna. They are works by the Dutch artist Krijn de Koning. If I'm not mistaken the photos have been taken in the Centraal Museum in Utrecht, which is indeed close to the Dick Bruna Huis, but not quite the same.

stfn

as a kid I always thought hello kitty was the japanese cousin of miffy. actually I still believe that :)

bunigrl33

I love the Miffy books, but I had no idea here were so many. I only have 6 in my collection.

Orphan Annie

tvr is totally right, I grew up on his books as well. :) I used to bump into him regularly, as I went to school in his neighbourhood. His moustache is impressive and he always seemed very nice. I'm sure it would have scarred me for life if Nijntje's creator turned out to be cranky and evil. haha

evad

thanks for the correction kodia.

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