How on earth do you approach rebranding one of the most famous and best loved children’s authors out there? When agency Sunshine was tasked with rebranding Roald Dahl, they took the smart approach of doing as he or his characters might, with a playful colour palette including “Willy Wonka Purple” and “Enormous Crocodile Green.”
The east London-based agency was appointed by The Roald Dahl Literary Estate to create an umbrella identity to be used across its many strands for the first time. It set about defining the three main characteristics of the estate as “masters of invention”, “makers of mischief” and “champions of good.” These then informed the new look and feel, which centres around an illustration of a little aeroplane.
“We wanted to create something super engaging and universal for all age groups – we grew up with Roald Dahl stories so it holds a lot of resonance,” says Simon Holmes, Sunshine art director. “It was a dream brief but also everyone has these associations with Dahl and there’s the Quentin Blake connotations too. That’s why we ended up really drawn to Dahl as an individual, he’s got so many little trademarks that are unique to him. He always wrote on yellow legal pads – I’ve seen a couple of the pages of his stories, little worksheets with things scratched out – there’s something so beautiful and timeless about that.”
The plane represents Roald Dahl’s “experience as a pilot and life-long love of flight,” according to Sunshine, and is pictured as a yellow paper plane. “When you interact with paper it either ends up in a ball or as a plane,” says Simon. “The logo’s a little bit mischievous and it perfectly captures a sense of imagination.”
The logo also has a sweet animated iteration, created with director Chris Dooley of Not to Scale and composer Nick Ryan, and the new identity will be used across all touchpoints including books, posters for musicals based on Dahl stories, online and on all other collateral.
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