Rights & Brands has been named the licensing and merchandising agent for the joint works of the Swedish author illustrator duo, Asrid Lindgren and Ilon Wikland, based on the artwork and characters created by the pair and enjoyed by children and adults across Scandinavia, the Nordics and beyond.
Lindgren’s books have been translated into 107 languages and have sold more than 165 million copies worldwide. Wikland is the artist who has illustrated the greatest number of these books, including the popular Brothers Lionheart, Ronja the Robber’s Daughter, The Children of Noisy Village, Karlsson on the Roof, Mardie, and more.
Under the guidance of Rights & Brands, and for the first time in many years, Astrid Lindgren Company and Design Ilon Wikland AB have agreed on a mutual merchandising programme, with the first products already launched.
“It’s a great honor for Rights & Brands to represent icons like Astrid and Ilon,” said Patrick Ullman, CEO of Rights & Brands. “We are presenting a program based on the pair’s amazing output of stories and artwork. The initial response has been overwhelming.”
Annika Lindgren, head of publishing at Astrid Lindgren Company and granddaughter of Astrid Lindgren, said: “At Astrid Lindgren Company we are happy that the close and creative collaboration that started between Astrid and Ilon already in 1954, now will deepen and evolve in yet another direction.
“In Ilon, Astrid found ‘her’ illustrator and between them something ‘blessed’ grew, as Astrid’s daughter Karin expressed it. Ilon could dress Astrid’s stories in images like no-one else – images loved by generations of children and families. And just as Astrid wrote for the child within her, Ilon draws for the child within.”
Representing the illustrator and member of the board at Design Ilon Wikland AB, Ilon Wikland’s daughter Fredrika Wikland, adds: “Me and my three sisters, Ilon’s daughters, grew up with a mother who drew and drew. We all got to experience the process of how the images of Astrid’s fantastic stories emerged.
“We got to take part in our mother’s joy, but also her great respect of visualizing the words. Mother always said: when I read Astrid’s text, I always see the images and characters before me. They are already alive. Our mother loved to illustrate for Astrid and their collaboration was filled with mutual respect and admiration.”