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Peter Rabbit Gets a Refresh

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Penguin Random House announced the revitalization ahead of Peter Rabbit's 120th birthday in 2022.

Penguin Random House Children's has unveiled a brand refresh for Peter Rabbit. 

The World of Peter Rabbit brand refresh is being launched ahead of the classic character's 120th birthday campaign in 2022. The brand identity has been rolled out across social channels and digital platforms and will appear on publishing and licensed product packaging from fall this year in the U.K. The global launch will begin in parallel with the 120th birthday celebrations next year. 

The Owned Brands Team manages the World of Peter Rabbit within Penguin Random House Children's, responsible for initiating and managing the brand refresh.  

"Peter Rabbit has an incredible legacy that resonates with multiple generations all over the world," says Izzy Richardson, director, global owned brands, Penguin Random House Children's. "We've seen the brand evolve through various creative iterations and touchpoints over the course of its 120-year history and ahead of the birthday milestone, it was important for us to refine and refresh the brand identity, to continue to futureproof the brand for a new generation. The result is a subtle and contemporary refresh of our' running rabbit' logo complemented by a new design system that can be used across marketing and promotional touchpoints for the brand. It brings energy and adventure to The World of Peter Rabbit, offering our family audience a dynamic and exciting Peter Rabbit experience." 

Penguin Random House Children's enlisted design agency CreateFuture to lead the project, drawing on early source material to reflect the brand's legacy. The refreshed logo showcases the Peter Rabbit pose, which has been reinterpreted by illustrator Chris Mitchell and now incorporates the title font from the first edition of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" [MM1] as well as Beatrix Potter's signature.   

"Beatrix Potter's exquisite illustrations are themselves timeless and remain perfectly pitched for physical books," says Anna Billson, art director, Penguin Random House Children's. "We are continually considering how best to translate the illustrations for a variety of applications while retaining their integrity and unique originality. Alongside developing a new design system that enables us to be visually consistent across all iterations of the Peter Rabbit brand, a refreshed logo fuses past, present and future, by combining the classic bespoke Beatrix Potter typeface with a reinterpreted version of the iconic running rabbit." 

The brand tool kit also includes a newly developed design system - Hop, Skip, Jump – consisting of three distinct treatments which can be used to target different audience demographics. Inspired by Potter's animal and insect illustrations, a series of graphic trails have been created.  

"The brief was to create a more contemporary version of the Peter Rabbit character to feature at the heart of the World of Peter Rabbit brand icon," says Chris Mitchell, illustrator, Epic Icons. "Along with the accompanying animal icons, the illustrations had to be created in a contemporary solid line vector style to work across multiple platforms and touchpoints, with clarity of craft at all reproduction sizes. Retaining the charm, mischief and character associated with the original illustrations was paramount. A colorful graphic trail adds energy and flows to each icon, individually crafted to represent the natural movement of each creature. I approached the work with a genuine sense of care and attention to detail that the World of Peter Rabbit cannot help but demand. This was to ultimately ensure that the rabbit in the blue jacket remains the icon of love, trust and friendship that we will continue to know and love, long into the future." 

"It was a privilege for CreateFuture to be entrusted with the brand refresh and subsequent toolkit for Peter Rabbit," says Dave Ward, creative director, CreateFuture. "We felt a duty of care to Beatrix Potter's legacy, to 120 years of memories held by the fans and to ensure that Peter Rabbit remains relevant and loved by the next generation and embraced by new audiences. Striking a balance between heritage and modernity was always going to be challenging. We are very proud of the result and hope the fans are, too." 

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