Happy F&B's new identity for a literary award is inspired by Astrid Lindgren and her shorthand

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award has unveiled its new visual identity, made in collaboration with Göteborg and Stockholm branding agency, Happy F&B to better reflect its stature as the world's largest prize for children's and young adults' literature and clarify its connection with Astrid Lindgren.

The Award is an annual literary prize created nearly 20 years ago by the Swedish Government to honour the writer's memory and "draw attention to quality children's literature by supporting, rewarding, and expanding access to this art form". If you win, you'll receive 5 million Swedish kronor (that's nearly £42,000), making it the most significant award of its kind in the world.

Its rebrand is one component of the award's work to develop and reinforce its role as an important global player in literature. "As the award has become more established internationally, it has become more important to refine our visual image. Our new logo conveys our connection to Astrid Lindgren and her deeply humanist approach to life, which is the very foundation of the award," says Suzi Ersahin, director of the Award.

The logo consists of a custom-drawn portrait of Astrid Lindgren and a wordmark. And the overall style is distinctive, warm and dignified. A varied colour palette and two well-drawn fonts for different purposes combine with photographs and illustrations that put laureates and young readers "front and centre". Astrid Lindgren's own shorthand, which she used to write her manuscripts, inspired a graphic pattern.

The pattern is decorative but also carries its own story about Astrid Lindgren and her legendary writing process. The Swedish Institute for Children's Books in Stockholm holds 670 of Lindgren's shorthand notepads, and Happy F&B were permitted to inspect the original Swedish manuscript of The World's Best Karlsson, from 1968.

"This award is exciting and important in many ways, and they are really just at the beginning of a long journey," says Anette Anderson from Happy F&B. "Our contribution was to clarify what the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award stands for. The ambition was to convey both seriousness and innovation, in order to be relevant in an international perspective, in particular. Therefore, we created an identity with a variety of tools to offer flexibility and visibility in all channels."

The new visual identity will be launched on alma.se and will be on display at the upcoming 2021 award announcement, which will be live-streamed on 30 March.


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