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Dorling Kindersley (DK) is an international publishing company specialising in illustrated reference books for adults and children in 51 languages.

Established in 1974, over the years Dorling Kindersley’s line of books has become a popular choice in libraries, schools, and homes, becoming bestselling and winning numerous awards as well as critical acclaim. Their titles range from travel, (including the award-winning Eyewitness Travel Guides) to history, cooking, gardening and parenting; plus a wide range of other subjects. They also publish an extensive children’s catalogue for children, toddlers and babies, covering topics from history and the human body to animals and activities.

DK has offices in New York, London, Munich, New Delhi, Toronto and Australia.


DK was founded as a book-packaging company by Christopher Dorling and Peter Kindersley in Londonmarker in 1974, and in 1982 moved into publishing. The first book published under the DK name was a First Aid Manual for the British voluntary medical services; this book established the company's distinctive visual style of copiously illustrated text on a glossy white background. DK Inc. began publishing in the United Statesmarker in 1991.

In 1999 DK printed 18 million Star Wars books but sold less than half of them, leaving the company with crippling debt. As a direct result, DK was taken over the following year by the Pearson PLC media company, and made part of Penguin Group, which also owns the Penguin Books label.

Nowadays, DK is the world's leading family illustrated reference publisher and has established a worldwide reputation for its innovative non-fiction books for adults and children.


Dorling Kindersley publishes an extensive range of titles internationally for adults and children. Most of the company's books are produced by teams of editors and designers who work with freelance writers and illustrators. Some are endorsed by "imprimaturs": well-known and respected organizations such as the British Medical Association, the Royal Horticultural Society and the British Red Cross. Some DK books apparently produced by celebrity authors such as Carol Vorderman are actually ghostwritten by the company's own writers and editors.

Popular titles that DK has published include a series of large-format "visual guides" with such titles as Universe, Earth, Animal, Human and History. Other successful book series published recently include Eyewitness, DK Handbooks and The Brainwaves.

DK also acts as a parent company for travel/non-fiction publisher, Rough Guides.


BradyGames is a publishing company in the United Statesmarker operating as a DK imprint, which specialises in video game strategy guides, covering multiple video game platforms. It published their first strategy guide in November 1993 and has grown to publish roughly 90-100 guides per year. Competitors include Prima Games and Piggyback Interactive.

The company occasionally offers two different versions of the same guide: one regular and one limited edition (which usually contains bonus items like a CD-ROM soundtrack or separate book containing art from the respective game).

DK Multimedia

During the 1990s, the company published educational videos and a successful range of educational CD-ROMs under the brand DK Multimedia. During the late 1990s CD-ROMs were rebranded as DK Interactive Learning to reflect a changed emphasis toward the educational sector. Following dwindling sales and increasing competition from websites, the company tried to rebrand the digital part of its business as DK Online before opting to sell it in 2000 to an entirely separate company, Global Software Publishing, which is part of the Avanquest Software Group.

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