Dick Bruna (23 August 1927 – 16 February 2017) was a Dutch author, artist, illustrator and graphic designer.
Bruna was best known for his children's books which he authored and illustrated, numbering over 200. His most notable creation was Miffy (Nijntje in the original Dutch), a small rabbit drawn with heavy graphic lines, simple shapes and primary colors. Bruna also created stories for characters such as Lottie, Farmer John, and Hettie Hedgehog. Aside from his prolific catalog of children's books, Bruna also illustrated and designed book covers, posters and promotional materials for his father's publishing company A.W. Bruna and Zoon. His most popular designs graced the covers of the Zwarte Beertjes (nl) series of books. Well known among his designs are those for Simenon's Maigret books, typified by graphic silhouettes of a pipe on various backgrounds.
Dick Bruna's father, A. W. Bruna, directed the family-owned publishing company Bruna, with his brother Henk Bruna. His father's intentions were for Bruna to follow in his footsteps, but Bruna had different plans and wanted to be an artist. He traveled to London and lived for a while in Paris, where he fell under the influence of Ferdinand Leger, Pablo Picasso, and especially Henri Matisse. Back in the Netherlands he attended the 'Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten' in Amsterdam but soon quit; he said afterwards that he had no talent as a painter and could not draw perspective. In 1955, while on family holiday, he saw a rabbit hopping around and later made attempts to draw it, thereby creating "Nijntje" ("Miffy" in English), the word a Dutch child might use as the diminutive for "konijntje", "little rabbit".
Bruna illustrated over 2,000 covers and over 100 posters for the family business, A.W. Bruna & Zoon. His most recognized illustrations were for the Zwarte Beertjes (English: little black bears) series of books, including The Saint, James Bond, Simenon, and Shakespeare. In July 2014 he announced his retirement; the rights to the Miffy character will not be sold. In March 2016 he was awarded the Max Velthuijs-prijs (nl). Bruna died in his sleep in Utrecht on 16 February 2017 at the age of 89.