The Puffin Classics collection of books, covering iconic titles such as Black Beauty and The Wizard of Oz, is to be rebranded with a series of modernised jacket designs.
Each title in the initial 12- strong range, to launch in March, will be revamped for the first time in 15 years. They have each been given introductions written by wellknown names in children’s publishing, inclu ding Eoin Colfer and Meg Rosoff. A further four titles will be unveiled in August.
With layout design by Puffin’s in-house team and its deputy art director Jacqui McDonough, the books will feature jackets drawn by a selection of famous illustrators. Each book will be individually illustrated, with the name of the title and its author clearly typed in a box at the bottom. The books have been redesigned in a new ‘chunky’ format, with readers’ notes an behind-the-scenes information. They will all feature the iconic Puffin Classics logo.
‘We thought it was time for a bit of a change,’ says McDonough. ‘The idea was to repackage the books so they feel more contemporary, but we didn’t want to lose the classic authority. We have tried to come up with a very distinct brand and make it more iconic rather than narrative. It is a fresh look and feels more relevant. We also sell in the US, so it was about making sure it worked for both the UK and US markets.’
The 12 books that are set to launch in March, with their illustrators, are: Little Women by Kazuko Nomoto, The Secret Garden by Alice Stevenson, Huckleberry Finn, Call of the Wild and Black Beauty by Bill Sanderson, Just So Stories by Victoria Sawdon, Oliver Twist by Steven Noble, Treasure Island by Ross Collins, A Little Princess by Willis Crowley, The Wizard of Oz by Tem Doran, The Wind in the Willows by Adam Larkum and Alice in Wonderland by Chris Riddell. ‘The Puffin Classics are some of the oldest stories for children ever written,’ says Puffin Books managing director Francesca Dow. ‘We’re very excited to be relaunching them again for today’s readers in smart new livery, so they can sit alongside the best contemporary children’s authors.’
A CLASSIC CHILDREN’S BRAND
• Puffin is a division of Penguin Group UK, and was launched in 1940 as a series of non-fiction books for children
• These stories, first published by Puffin in the 1950s, were brought under the Classics brand in the 1980s and last reissued with modern jackets in the 1990s
• The publishing imprint includes picture books, fiction, non-fiction, popular culture and teen fiction
• The Puffin Classics are being published alongside The Puffin-Cyclopedia of Children’s Classics, a guide to the Puffin Classics