The V&A is partnering with Penguin Random House Children’s UK and Thames & Hudson to develop and expand its publishing activity.
The first co-published titles are due to launch in Autumn 2016, with full ranges to be made available in 2017. Both partnerships will be a collaboration of designers, illustrators, photographer, artists and authors – including curatorial experts from the V&A - with Penguin focusing on a diverse range for children and Thames & Hudson concentrating on its adults list.
Francesca Dow, managing director for Penguin Random House Children’s UK said she had “huge ambitions” for the partnership, which include creating a bespoke children’s range, which will marry imaginative storytelling, design and packaging skills with items from the V&A’s archive. To appeal to children of all ages, the publishing range will span baby gifts and crafts, as well as activity- and story-books for older readers.
Art publisher Thames & Hudson, which is partnering with the museum on titles for adults through exploring the V&A’s art and design collections, will produce high-quality co-branded monographs and books.
Rolf Grisebach, c.e.o of Thames & Hudson Ltd, said: “We are looking forward to working together with the V&A on an expanded publishing programme. The V&A and Thames & Hudson are active in many complementary areas including fashion and textile, design, photography, the decorative arts and fine arts, and have the same values for high quality in all aspects of their respective areas as well as a global perspective and reach. Together we can inspire not just those people who visit the museum but importantly those around the world who want to learn more about the V&A collections and exhibitions.”
The V&A made five people redundant earlier this year in March to focus on its digital output. Since then, the V&A said it has been reviewing its strategy to increase its accessibility and appeal to a wider range of readerships.
Alex Stitt, director of commercial and digital development at the V&A, said: “The V&A enjoys a global reputation for the high quality of its publications, in both trade and academic markets. For the last six months we have been reviewing our strategy with a view to developing our publishing to fit our mission – to make our rich and inspiring collections of art and design as accessible as possible to our different audiences. After a rigorous and extensive process, we are delighted to announce our partnership with such globally recognised and highly regarded publishers as Thames & Hudson and Penguin Random House. Both companies share our values and standards, and we look forward to creating consistently high-quality titles that draw on the V&A’s extraordinary collections and knowledge of the designed world.”
V&A Publishing will now focus predominantly on producing exhibition-related and specialist academic titles.