Ladybird by Design

more information Ladybird books gallery
Image from What To Look For In Spring © Ladybird Books Ltd, 1961

For one hundred years, Ladybird books have delighted children, their parents, grandparents and teachers alike, taking readers on a journey of discovery and enlightenment. Affordable and accessible, Ladybird books hold a significant and affectionate place in the collective psyche of the nation, conjuring up, through written word and illustration, life in Britain in more innocent times.

In 2014 and early 2015, the De La Warr Pavilion displayed over 200 original illustrations covering a selection of Ladybird books from the late 1950s to early 1970s. Focusing on those books which reflected the world in which the reader lived, the exhibition featured selections from the People At Work series, Shopping With Mother, the Science and Nature series as well as the Well Loved Tales and Key Words series.

See Gallery for a selection of images

The exhibition has attracted a huge amount of national press coverage:
Mail Online
Digital Arts
Design Week
Its Nice That
BBC South East Today (at 20 mins) 

The success of Ladybird was as much due to clever format and compelling design, as it was the quality of the writing, presenting a portrait of the time through the use of specifically commissioned illustration. Unparalleled in their perfectly observed attention to detail and unique sense of place, Ladybird’s full-colour, full-page illustrations were often created by well-known illustrators such as Charles Tunnicliffe (What To Look For titles, series 536), Harry Wingfield (Shopping with Mother, series 563, and Key Words, series 641), Martin Aitchison (Key Words titles), Eric Winter and Robert Lumley (Well-loved Tales, series 606d), John Berry (People at Work, series 606b) and Robert Ayton (Great Inventions and The Story of Oil, series 601).


Alongside the exhibition we are also asking you to share your Ladybird moments and memories.

Send them to us by either:
Writing to us by email and sending it to
Or recording a video directly to camera or phone before uploading it to your favourite social media with #talkaboutladybird.

We will share a selection of your Ladybird moments on and

This exhibition takes its title from the new book Ladybird by Design, written by Professor of Illustration and Dean of the School of Design at the London College of Communication, Lawrence Zeegen. The book publishes on 5March 2015 and will portray a unique slice of Britain’s social and design history, as seen through the eyes of Ladybird. Professor Zeegen has been closely involved in curating the exhibition that has been inspired by Ladybird by Design.

© Ladybird Books Ltd, 1958

© Ladybird Books Ltd, 1976

Shopping with DLWP

In partnership with Ladybird we have produced a set of four Limited Edition Ladybird Centenary prints. These are available from the DLWP shop or online here.

© Ladybird Books Ltd, 2014., Illustrations from the archives of Ladybird Books Ltd, used under license from Ladybird Books Ltd.

Related exhibition

Ladybird Reworked- Parodies and Appropriations

Sat 21 March 2015  -  Sun 19 Apr 2015: Free admission

Ladybird In Conversation

Listen free click here

Sat 24 Jan 2015-
Sun 10 May 2015

Tickets: Free entry

Booking & Information:
01424 229 111
  1. If you would like to book tickets as a non-member click here
  2. If you are a member of the De La Warr Pavilion and receive priority booking please log in here
  3. If you would like to find out more about becoming a Member (from £35 p.a.) click here