Case Study - Ladybird Books

LadyBird Books

Ladybird Books

When Henry Wills opened his bookshop in Loughborough, Leicestershire in 1867 he probably didn't anticipate that he would go on, together with his partner William Hepworth, to found Ladybird and with it one of the most iconic imprints in publishing. Similarly when Astley Baker Davies animation studio created and produced Peppa Pig they couldn't have predicted the global success of this little anthropomorphic female pig, and her family and friends. Known and loved the world over, Ladybird books and Peppa Pig, enjoy phenomenal brand recognition.

Therefore, when we were approached by the Penguin Group, to produce bespoke rugs for their global chain of children's Ladybird bookstores we knew one of biggest challenges would be the accurate representation of the iconic Ladybird and Peppa herself and their associated brand colours.

Ladybird book design for rug

'These rugs will be used in bookstores around the world and they will be an eye catching design piece that I am sure children and parents will adore.'

Camilla Ray, Head of Marketing: International and Education
Penguin Books, Children's Division
Ladybird Books

Representing the iconic Ladybird

In 1914 Henry Wills and William Hepworth published their first children’s books under the ‘Ladybird’ imprint bearing the soon to be iconic Ladybird logo. Registered in 1915 and initially rendered with open wings the Ladybird has undergone several re-designs from the more familiar closed-winged Ladybird of the 1950’s to the latest version produced in 2006 which we were asked to reproduce.

After discussion with Penguin we recommended New Zealand wool for its hard wearing and naturally flame retardant character; adding a stain inhibition treatment to increase the rugs durability and stain resistance. We also recommended a heavy pile weight, to allow us to create the level of detail required and special dyeing of the wool used, to match the clients Pantone reference exactly and achieve the distinctive Ladybird red.

Ladybird rug in production

One of the New Zealand Wool Ladybird rugs showing the distinctive ‘Ladybird’ red. This was able to be matched exactly by our skilled dyers who dyed the wool specially for Penguin.

'I just unrolled one of the rugs in the office and there were gasps of delight from my colleagues. The quality is outstanding and working with Rug Couture has been seamless and a real pleasure from start to end. I would thoroughly recommend them to anyone else; the service, speed, personal approach, flexibility, delivery were all faultless.'

Camilla Ray, Head of Marketing: International and Education
Penguin Books, Children's Division
Custom rug - Ladybird Books

Some of the modular, hand-tufted Pure Wool rugs in use in the children's library.

Ladybird is currently celebrating it’s centenary to coincide with which The De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex, is holding an exhibition ‘Ladybird by Design.’ Sharing it’s title with the recently published book by Professor of Illustration and Dean of the School of Design at the London College of Communication, Lawrence Zeegen.

For more information on Ladybird Books please visit their website: Ladybird books

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