Moomin book / Kobra Agency

Moomin Books

Design for a new edition of the Moomin books – a Finnish classic with more than 70 years of history.

We had the pleasure to design a new edition of the much loved Moomin books for Finnish-Swedish publisher Förlaget.

The first Moomin book was published more than 70 years ago. Today the books have been translated to over 40 languages. Tove Jansson illustrated the covers to a large amount of editions. Every original cover has its own character and feel as each title was illustrated at the time of publication over many years. You can see how Tove Jansson’s own style developed over different periods. In later years these wonderful illustrations have sometimes been overshadowed by other elements.

With the new editions we wanted to respect the fact that the Moomin books have achieved the status of classics. When redesigning something that has already achieved recognition as such a classic we felt that it important to not start from zero. We didn’t want to throw out all the good work that had been done on these books before. The challenge was to collate, improve on and emphasise different elements from the wide range of covers to create a harmonious collection. Our goal was to create something new but at the same time a continuation on a valuable heritage – not a break with history.

The illustrations have been given a lot of space on the covers. The wonderful images are combined with colourful cloth in a French binding. The titles of the books are hand drawn in a style inspired by Tove Jansson’s lettering. Illustrations from the books were used on the endpapers of each book.

We like so many others love the Moomin books. We grew up with them and they are an integral part of our childhood. As adults it is a pleasure to revisit them and the ideas and values expressed in them. We hope this edition brings the joy of reading the Moomin books to a new audience of readers.

Client: Förlaget
Case images: Carl Bergman / Duotone
Sector: Arts & Culture
Type of work: Book design