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Marking 75 years of Thames & Hudson

Posted on 10 Feb 2024

Announcing a celebratory publishing programme, international promotions and events, and a new Book Design Prize.

Seventy-five years ago Walter and Eva Neurath founded Thames & Hudson (T&H) with a clear ambition: to make art and scholarship more accessible through boldly independent publishing that was prepared to risk being ahead of the curve. T&H is still wholly owned by the founding family, and their original vision of creating a ‘museum without walls’ resonates today more than ever. As well as publishing beautifully designed and produced books in collaboration with the world’s leading artists, writers, museums, cultural institutions and fashion houses, T&H continually innovates and evolves in order to reflect our times and remain relevant. Having acquired the rights to future titles from Unit Editions and Read-Only Memory (publishers of books about graphic design and videogame culture respectively), and launched new imprint Skittledog last year, we will be introducing a new gift list, known as T&H Gift Lab, this autumn.

The publishing programme

T&H’s anniversary programme will celebrate the company’s heritage, beginning in May with the launch of ‘Pocket Perspectives’, a new series of accessible small-format books that present timeless works by writers and thinkers who have shaped the conversation across the arts, visual culture and history. The series will launch with six titles (Linda Nochlin On the Body, E.H. Gombrich On Fresco Painting, John Boardman On The Parthenon, Julian Bell On Painting, James Hall On the Self-Portrait and Griselda Pollock On Gauguin), with two more titles publishing in September (Lucy Lippard On Pop Art and T.J. Clark On Bruegel). Celebrating the undiminished vitality of the authors’ ideas today, these covetable and collectable books embody the best of Thames & Hudson.

July will see the publication of The World According to David Hockney, an illustrated gift book offering an engaging overview of the legendary artist’s inimitable spirit through his quotations about topics ranging from art and nature to creativity and the internet. T&H published its first title by David Hockney in 1976, and 2024 is the perfect year to celebrate the publisher’s decades-long relationship with the artist.

In the autumn we will be launching the T&H Gift Lab, led by Marc Valli, who was previously responsible for Laurence King’s pioneering gift list. Valli’s mission for the list is to support learning through engaging and fun activities. It will include gifts, games and jigsaws produced with leading T&H authors and artists and will be as original and quality-driven as T&H’s book-publishing programme. The introductory titles range from storytelling jigsaws The Odyssey in 1,000 pieces and The Story of Art in 1,000 pieces to card games such as Queen of Arts: Women Artists Playing Cards, a children’s activity kit about Matisse and a line of products by our bestselling children’s author Yuval Zommer.

The children’s list will mark T&H’s anniversary year with the publication of Dear Vincent in September, to coincide with the blockbuster exhibition at the National Gallery, London. Written by Michael Bird and illustrated by painter Ella Beech, this book will immerse young readers in Van Gogh’s world through the letters he exchanged with his brother Theo. T&H is the foremost publisher of literature about Van Gogh (including his complete letters) and a long-time collaborator of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

T&H’s design and production values set the publishing house apart. We bring beauty, craft and innovation to every page, expressing our commitment to making books to be read and enjoyed time and again. To close the year we will publish The Art of the Book, a celebration not only of the history of book design but also of illustrated publishing. Tracing the 75-year history of T&H and featuring its extraordinary output era by era, it will provide a valuable behind-the-scenes look at titles that have defined their genre.

Alongside these anniversary publications, we have a cornucopia of exciting new titles being published in 2024: How Banksy Saved Art History by Kelly Grovier, a new take on the history of art through the eyes of the urban artist; How Painting Happens by Martin Gayford, providing an intimate insight into painters’ processes and motives; Francis Bacon: A Self-Portrait in Words, the first anthology of the artist’s writings; Prospect Cottage: Derek Jarman’s House, which takes us on a tour of Jarman’s Dungeness home 30 years after the artist’s death; Make Every Day Creative by bestselling author-illustrator Marion Deuchars; Mind Games, a celebration of John Lennon’s breakthrough album; major monographs on the architect I.M. Pei, designers Sir Kenneth Grange and Thomas Heatherwick, graphic designer Paula Scher and many more; and Goodnight, Starry Night by Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho. There are also collaborations with the British Museum, the V&A, The Hepworth Wakefield, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, M+ in Hong Kong, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Paris, Louis Vuitton and Dior, photo agency Magnum and the political campaign group Led by Donkeys.

Anniversary branding

T&H’s 75th-anniversary branding and logo have been created by Pentagram, building on the new visual identity they designed in 2020.

In February 2024 T&H is also rebranding its children’s list, with a logo using chubbier, cheekier dolphins and a lower-case wordmark.

Trade promotions and window competition

We will be marking our anniversary through various trade promotions, the first of which will start at the time of the release of the new ‘Pocket Perspectives’ series in May. These promotions will be an opportunity for us to champion our retail partners and celebrate our unique dialogue with the bookselling communities in the UK and across the world.

A special edition of The World According to David Hockney will be published for museum and gallery stores in recognition of their support. To coincide with the publication of The Art of the Book, we will be inviting booksellers to curate their T&H classics under the banner ‘My Thames & Hudson’ and to feature their selection in a window competition, which will be judged by design and retail professionals and rewarded with one-of-a-kind prizes.

Author events

A series of discussions with high-profile T&H authors and cultural commentators will take place in the autumn in select regional locations, with audiences brought together through a livestreaming platform.

Design prize

Finally, T&H is launching the Thames & Hudson Award for Book Design to celebrate the importance and value of design for books and engage the next generation of book designers. Open to students of graphic design and illustration from the UK and Ireland, the award comprises four categories (Art, Photography, History and Children’s Books) in which entrants are to re-imagine the design of newly published Thames & Hudson books. The judging panel includes creative director and President of the International Society of Typographic Designers Astrid Stavro, graphic designer and typographer Neville Brody, Fraser Muggeridge, founder of Fraser Muggeridge Studio, and T&H Director Johanna Neurath. The category winners and overall winner will be announced at a special ceremony to coincide with the launch of  The Art of the Book.

CEO and Publisher Sophy Thompson says: ‘We are thrilled to be celebrating everything T&H has achieved over 75 years and to have the opportunity to engage with our authors, publishing partners, colleagues and booksellers. The process of looking back inspires us to look forward, and to understand how lucky we are to be making and helping to sell beautiful, important books that matter. It’s going to be an exciting year.’

Read more in The Bookseller.

For publicity enquiries, please contact Laurence Harvie: