Canada’s oldest publisher of children’s books, Tundra Books, has announced plans to mark its 50th anniversary in 2017, including the launch of an illustration award to honor Tundra’s trailblazing founder, May Cutler, and a dynamic new logo designed by award-winning Canadian branding and design agency Viva & Co.
The May Cutler Emerging Artist of the Year celebrates May Cutler’s mission to introduce children to art and artists. This annual honor will be given to a debut illustrator for his or her illustration work on a book published by Tundra. The book will receive an enhanced marketing plan, and the illustrator will be presented with a special edition. Tara Walker, Publisher, Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers, and Vice President, Penguin Random House Canada, says, “The May Cutler Emerging Artist of the Year acknowledges a new picture book illustrator who exemplifies all the things May valued so dearly: artistic talent, a unique approach to picture book illustration and a passion for children’s literature.” The inaugural recipient of the award is Prince George, BC-based artist Madeline Kloepper for Little Blue Chair, a picture book written by Cary Fagan (available January 24/17).
Walker says, “We’re so delighted to be presenting Madeline with this honor. We were immediately drawn to the sweet, winsome faces of her characters in Little Blue Chair, full of quiet emotion and subtle expression, and the way she captures intimate everyday scenes and vast landscapes with equal beauty and curiosity. Her art is so assured and has such a classic feel, and she’s brought Cary’s wonderful story to life in such a sensitive and poignant way that it’s remarkable to think this is her very first picture book.”
As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, Tundra also unveils a new logo designed by Canadian design firm Viva & Co. and its founder and Managing Director, Frank Viva. The new logo marks the publisher’s first logo rebrand since its founding in 1967 and will first appear printed on books published in fall 2017.
Viva, who is also a distinguished author and illustrator of books for children and an artist known for his New Yorker covers, says, “We were really gratified that Tundra approached Viva & Co. to help them with a new identity system launching in time for their 50th anniversary (and Canada’s 150th). I have long admired this remarkable Canadian children’s book imprint. Having published two books with Tundra while working closely with the current team, I know that May Cutler would be proud of the astonishing renewal and reinvention going on there. Our goal was to create a fresh but timeless logo that was unmistakably Canadian – one that would last for the next 50 years.”
Walker says, “To have a logo designed by our beloved author and friend Frank and his team is truly the best birthday present we can give ourselves. From the moment we first considered a new logo for Tundra, we thought of Frank and Viva & Co. Frank’s great love of books, his artistry and his innovative design sense made him and his agency the obvious choice. We are honored to publish Frank Viva and consider him to be one of our country’s great tastemakers.”
Kristin Cochrane, President and Publisher, Penguin Random House Canada, says, “Good publishers have a strong vision of the kind of books they want to send out into the world and great publishers have the strength and perseverance to see this come true. May Cutler was a great publisher, one who blazed a trail for children’s publishers to come. I am sure that she would be as proud as I am of what Tundra has become and for all the accomplishments of its team. Tundra’s new logo is, in part, an homage to May. It is distinctive, playful and is a wonderful nod to our northern heritage. It’s everything we had hoped for … and more.”
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