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The History of the DK Logo

This year we’ve been celebrating our 40th anniversary and there’s no better reminder of our heritage than the iconic DK logo. Stuart Jackman, DK Children’s Design Director, tracks the evolution of this logo over the last forty years.

When DK was founded in 1974, the company was not a publisher but a book packager and so there was no need for a logo as such. We did need an identity however, so Peter Kindersley’s father, David Kindersley, created a unique font to use on the company stationery. This font was hand-drawn and reflected the calligraphic qualities that David Kindersley was famous for. However it was not a font as such and so couldn’t be used in any typesetting system and only existed as the letters used in the colophon.

DK logo 1974

A couple of years after the founding of the company, when DK had around twenty books to sell to publishers worldwide, there was a need for a catalogue and David Kindersley created the cover. His design can be seen as the birth of the DK logo!

DK logo 1976

When DK first became a publisher a logo or some sort of mark was essential for use on the book covers. It was the precomputer age and the first actual logo was an evolution of this catalogue cover. It was hand-drawn and still had the calligraphic qualities with cross-hatching on the “cover” of the book and a very non-mechanical feel. The hand-drawn qualities soon proved to be a difficulty when the logo was used at a small size on spines, with the cross-hatching filling in and the hand drawn lines of the grid breaking up.

DK logo

To counter this, a new version was created. The number of pages in the book were reduced and the letters D and K were based on the font Garamond.

DK logo

After DK was aquired by Pearson in 2000 it was agreed that the time was right for a modernisation of the logo. The international design group Pentagram was engaged and part of their brief was to improve the impact of the logo on book covers. In the version below they were able to increase the size of the D and K by around 20% but still keep the logo the same size. They also introduced a less rigid cover with more curves to the book cover which was thought softer and more contemporary. The diagonal grid lines were removed to improve readability.

DK logo

In 2014 the DK logo has been modified again to improve readability and visibility on the books and in digital products. Even in this digital age the logo is still very much a book and retains much of the feel of David Kindersley’s original.

DK logo 2014


Being ‘better by design’ is an important part of what makes our illustrated non-fiction books unique and our iconic logo continues to represent the high quality design that is essential to every book we create. So here’s to another 40 years of great design and that open book with two little letters telling you everything you need to know…DK.

Want to get a sneak peek of our new books?

We’re looking for a group of adults and two groups of parents along with their children to trial our fantastic new books…We’ll have plenty of snacks, drinks and goodie bags for them to take home! As well as lots of tea and cake for the adults!

There will be three different focus group sessions.

Session 1

Date & time: Monday 18th August, between 10.00 and 12.00
Age: Adults
Testing: New Knowledge titles: 100% Human and Wildlife of the World.

Session 2

Date & time: Tuesday 19th August, between 14.00 and 16.00
Age: Teenagers along with their parents
Testing: New teen knowledge titles: Careers and Heads Up Philosophy.

Session 3

Date & time: Wednesday 20th August, between 14.00 and 15.00
Age:  Children aged 8 – 10 along with their parents.
Testing: How To Do Maths.

If you are available to come to our London office at these times and dates, drop us an email at by Monday 11th August 2014.

New and Updated Books for August 2014

All of these books are out today!

New and updated DK books published August 1 2014

Find out more…

The Science Book:
Kid’s Birthday Cakes:
LEGO Chima Character Encyclopedia:
Snakes and Other Reptiles:
Do You know Who You Are?
Science a Chldren’s Encyclopedia:
Why? Encyclopedia:
Knowledge Encyclopedia Dinosaur!

DK Needs You!

We’re looking for children to trial our fantastic new homwork help website and lots of new books…We’ll have plenty of snacks, drinks and goodie bags for them to take home!

There will be three different focus group sessions.

Session 1

Date & time: Monday 18th August, between 14.00 and 16.00
Age: 5 – 9 year olds
Testing: Factivities, like LEGO City Ultimate Factivity Collection and Spider-Man Ultimate Factivity Collection

Session 2

Date & time: Tuesday 19th August, between 10.00 and 12.00
Age: 4 – 11 year olds
Testing: DK Reads books, that’s titles like LEGO® Mixels Meet The Mixels and Star Wars What Makes A Monster?

Session 3

Date & time: Wednesday 20th August, between 10.00 and 11.00
Age:  7 – 11 year olds
Testing: Our new (and yet to be released) DKFindOut! homework help website

If you are available to come to our London office at these times and dates, drop us an email at by Wednesday 6th August 2014.

Celebrating DK’s 40th birthday

This year we at DK are incredibly proud to say we have turned 40 years old. Established in 1974 we have grown and changed over the years to become the publisher we are today. However, we have always stayed true to our fundamental aim, to inform, enrich and entertain.

DK Logo 1974 - 2014

Hmm but how to share our 40th birthday celebrations with as many readers across the world as possible? Why through the brilliant mediums of Twitter and Facebook of course!

We had tonnes of fun researching facts about DK (as well as how the world has changed in the last 40 years) to share with you. These ranged from how many Eyewitness titles we have published (150); to how many people have set foot on the moon in that time (0), to sharing DK photos of years gone by, kindly provided by former DK author Alan Buckingham.

DK 40th Throwback

By far the best thing about these celebrations were the fantastic comments and tweets we received from readers of all ages; from the USA to Canada and Australia you guys helped us celebrate our 40th anniversary in style.

Thank you all and here’s to another 40 years!

To view all of our 40th birthday celebration facts and photos check out our #DK40 photos on facebook.

Cardboard Cities and Monster Menageries

This summer, DK Art Editor Jemma Westing’s Brilliant Builds workshop pitched up at both Glastonbury and Latitude festivals. Armed with a large pile of cardboard kindly donated by DK, children got creative with recycling, building a thriving cardboard city at Glasto and a menagerie of monsters and dinosaurs at Latitude.

Collin the Stegosaurus was made entirely from DK boxes. That’s the kind of inventive recycling we want to encourage – let your imagination run wild and go green creatively!

Jem would like to thank everyone who kindly donated materials to Brilliant Builds; without you, it couldn’t have happened.


The Brilliant Builds workshop tent at Glastonbury 2014

Beautiful Builds tent at Glastonbury 2014

Colin the dinosaur doesn’t like hats…

Beautiful Builds at Latitude 2014

The Loch Ness Monster at Latitude Festival 2014

Beautiful Builds at Latitude 2014








Great Maps – A Very Beautiful Book

We’re so excited to have received the first  copies of our new book, Great Maps by Jerry Brotton:

Great Maps


Great Maps takes you on a journey through the history of maps, from ancient maps such as medieval mappa mundi to Google Earth. Each map provides a window into the age in which it was created and the world view at the time, as well as showing you what was known and unknown by people of the period.

Plus, you might have noticed that Great Maps has a beautiful gold DK logo on the spine, a departure from our usual black and red!

Great Maps publishes 1 September 2014 but you can pre-order your copy now from retailers such as Wordery and Amazon.

Updated DK Eyewitness Guides for a New Generation

Over our 40 years as a publisher we have produced 150 DK Eyewitness titles in 50 countries and 35 languages. We’re so proud of this that we’ve included it in our 40th anniversary social media celebrations:

DK Eyewitness Tweet

Probably the most well known all DK books, the DK Eyewitness reference guides have now been updated for a new generation of readers; we know how much people love these books, so we want to make sure that the young readers of today can enjoy learning about fascinating subjects like dinosaurs, Ancient Greece and the wonders of the ocean, like the generations before them.

DK Eyewitness Ancient Egypt

Packed with all the essential information from the previous editions, the updated guides are now more interactive and colourful than ever with new infographics, statistics, facts and timelines making the book more engaging and educational for your child.

Updated titles include:

Ancient Greece
Ancient Eygypt
World War I
World War II
Crystal & Gem
Hurricane & Tornado
Rock & Mineral (which also happens to be the best selling DK Eyewitness Guide ever!)

At £6.99 each you’d be silly not to! Browse and buy now on our website.

Updates to infant choking in the new edition of the First Aid Manual

You may have seen in the press yesterday that there is new advice for parents and carers on how to treat a choking infant. This comes after a survey that we carried out revealed that a third of parents have been in a situation where their child has started choking and worryingly, half of parents did not know the correct procedure. The survey was commissioned to mark the publication of the latest edition of the First Aid Manual, written and authorised by the UK’s leading first aid providers, St John Ambulance, the British Red Cross and St Andrew’s First Aid.

First Aid Manual jacket

First Aid Manual 10th edition, only £9.99 (RRP £13.99) for a limited time

Parents were previously advised to place the infant face down along their arm, but the new guidance states babies should be placed face down along the thigh. Andrew New, speaking on behalf of all three charities, said: “Treating a child for choking is easy when you know how. The new manual contains the latest guidance on choking and other procedures and is a must for every home.”

We’ve now been publishing the bestselling First Aid Manual for 32 years and it’s still the only first aid reference manual that’s written and endorsed by all three of the UK’s leading First Aid providers. The new 10th edition has been updated with all the latest guidelines and best practice and covers all aspects of first aid from emergency first aid and first aid for babies and children, to life-saving resuscitation. From sprained ankles, burns and bleeding to strokes and unconsciousness, you can find out quickly how to treat over 100 different conditions and the clear step-by-step photos are designed to show you exactly what you need to do in any situation.

We’re currently offering £4 off the First Aid Manual (until 31 March, while stocks last) – get your copy for just £9.99.

Simple Flower Arranging- A fabulous book and a fabulous launch

Want to give a lovely fresh gift at one of the many celebrations on the horizon such as Valentine’s Day, Mothering Sunday, Easter and the upcoming wedding season? With all those events, buying thoughtful original gifts can be difficult, but with Simple Flower Arranging you can give a beautiful gift created by your own hands. Or if your loved one is a flower arranging fan you could give them the book itself (£16.99, but you can get £4 off with code SFA4OFF).

Simple Flower Arranging contains more than 60 projects to inspire you from simple kitchen table displays to chic wedding bouquets. If you’re on a budget, Simple Flower Arranging shows you how to take a simple bunch of blooms from a supermarket, and re-present them with a florist’s touch. Simple step-by-step guides lead you stem by stem to your own beautiful hand-made bouquets.

Lilac Petals

Here’s a simple idea from the book, perfect for Valentine’s Day:

Simple Flower Arranging has two fabulous authors, Mark Welford and Stephen Wicks, who are ex-ballet dancers turned florists and owners of destination florist Bloomsbury Flowers in Covent Garden. They now supply bouquets to the ballerinas at the Royal Opera House as well as many other famous clients, so they know their stuff!

Flower step by step

Last week Mark and Stephen hosted a beautiful launch for Simple Flower Arranging in the Clore Studio at the exclusive Royal Opera House.


The flowers were, of course, fragrant and fabulous, and to everyone’s delight, Darcy Bussell made an appearance!


Simple Flower Arranging is available to buy now and remember you can get £4 off with code SFA4OFF.


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