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Dick Bruna (1927 - )

Related: paperback - Netherlands - illustration


Dick Bruna (b. August 23, 1927, Utrecht, the Netherlands) is a writer, artist and graphical designer.

He achieved what many banks and other corporations that try to build a long-lasting relationship with their customers dream of, he has planted the iconographic images of his creations firmly in the minds of the children of this world. In that sense he has few peers, perhaps only Walt Disney.

His best known creation then is Miffy, a little rabbit drawn in as few lines and as few colours as possible, and always accompanied by four lines of verse.

Apart from other series of children's books in the vein of Miffy (which he wrote and drew), Dick Bruna has also illustrated and designed the covers of the books of many well-known authors.

His designs for the covers of Simenon's Maigret are famous. They usually are dominated by a monochrome silhouette of a pipe.

Over the years, he worked on the graphical design of perhaps thousands of books published by the company, including The Saint, James Bond and Shakespeare. He also translated books to Dutch (Maigret).

At a young age Bruna started drawing, but also getting influenced by other artists. He drew covers for the school newspaper in Walt Disney style. Later he admired Rembrandt and Van Gogh.

The biggest influence was perhaps Matisse. Dick Bruna's first works were based on collages by the French painter.

Pablo Picasso and Dick Bruna were said to be admirers of each other's work. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Bruna [Jan 2006]


Miffy by Dick Bruna
image sourced here. [Jul 2005]

Miffy is a cartoon character in the form of a small girl rabbit drawn by Dick Bruna. Her original Dutch name is Nijntje (pr. nein-che) which stems from a toddler's pronunciation of the word "konijntje" meaning "little rabbit".

She was created in 1955, after Dick Bruna had been telling his one-year-old son Sierk stories about a little rabbit they had seen earlier in the dunes, while on holiday.

The first Miffy book was called 'Miffy at the Seaside'.

Miffy is drawn in a very minimalist style, requiring only a few lines and one or two primary colours. In a sense, it reminds one of Hergé's ligne claire.

The Miffy books contain sixteen pages of story. Each page has one illustration and four lines of verse.

The books are printed in small format. Dick Bruna feels it important that his audience feels that his books are there for them, not for their parents.

Miffy has been shown on TV since 2003.

Many think that Miffy is Japanese because the line style is also used in Hello Kitty and her friends. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miffy [Jul 2005]

see also: 1955 - comics

Zwarte Beertjes

image sourced here. [Jul 2005]

Koichi Yanagimoto (Glyph)
Tokyo 2004
Stamped cloth with dust-jacket 446 pages
More than 2000 colour illustrations
Design: Suzuka Yanagimoto
Text in Japanese and English

Dick Bruna is known internationally as the creator of Miffy, the ever simply designed rabbit that has delighted children in countless countries & languages over the last thirty years. What many do not know is that during the first thirty years of his design career Dick Bruna created more than 2000 book covers for his fathers Dutch publishing company A.W.Bruna & Zoon. These exceptionally clear and simply designed covers and their mascots 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.

This lavishly illustrated and well designed book presents for the first time a comprehensive catalogue of the book-cover designs and publicity pieces that Bruna created during his long career. --http://www.nijhoflee.nl/design/graphic/graphic.htm [Jul 2005]

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