60 years of miffy
In 2015 it is 60 years since Miffy first started delighting children and their parents. And we plan to celebrate that all year long! One of the events being organised is the Miffy Art Parade: a project that honours Miffy, her creator, and fans of all ages worldwide. The Miffy Art Parade unites, inspires and is helping to create a better future in partnership with UNICEF.
The first book about Miffy was published in 1955. Dick Bruna recounts how, during a family holiday, he told his oldest son a story about the little bunny hopping around in the garden of their holiday home. He did some drawings of the little bunny, and Miffy was born. Miffy has since appeared as the leading character in 32 books that have been translated into more than 50 languages and sold more than 85 million copies worldwide.
Three generations have grown up with Miffy the Netherlands. But Miffy is also very popular outside the Netherlands. She began her international career in the UK and Japan in the 1960s and can now be found in dozens of countries all over the world. Besides featuring as the leading character in the books, Dick Bruna’s world famous children’s character is also enduringly popular as a design icon on all kinds of products.
The logo for 60 years of Miffy shows how Miffy evolved. To start with, she looked like a soft toy, with floppy ears. From 1963 onwards she has straight pointy ears and lovely round cheeks and looks candidly at the reader with her little black eyes. Some years later Dick Bruna made her ears and face even rounder, so they were more balanced. He also changed the proportional relationship between her body, which became slightly rounder, and her head.
Dick Bruna was born in Utrecht on 23 August 1927. His father ran the family publishing company, A.W. Bruna and Zoon, which was founded by his great-grandfather in 1868. Though he was meant to follow his father into the publishing business, Dick managed to convince his father that he was unsuited to the profession. In 1951 he started working for the company as a book cover designer and made a significant contribution to the success of the Zwarte Beertjes paperback series. His powerful images and simple graphics have made his book cover designs and posters highly coveted collectors' items.