This aspect of my latest assignment was for me to create a branding concept for a children’s television show. The target audience is for children ages 4 – 8. Having a two year old helped but I also had some assistance by interviewing a couple of kids within the age group. Some of my designs felt a little childish at times but hey, isn’t that the whole idea?!
Create a pitch for a new kid’s content, day-time block ‘wrapper’ show (the format used by ABC Kid’s ‘Giggle and Hoot’). You will be presenting your idea to four (4) intimidating, suited executive types and their boss, the head of the network, who has been known to ruin interns’ careers for spilling his coffee.
For your show, you will need to come up with the following basic elements:
- a name and branding style, including logos, signature colours and typography, etc.
- a cast: the show will have two (2) to four (4) hosts. These may be live actors, puppets, actors in felt suits or digitally animated creations. The show can have as many sidekicks or guest characters as you like
- a studio set, exemplifying the world that the host characters inhabit, strongly themed to appeal to both male and female children in the difficult 4–8 years age bracket.
You can add as many extra elements to the mix as you wish, but be aware that you will not get handed a limitless budget, so make sure that your choices are reasonable and feasible within the restrictions of a single studio set.
You can employ mood boards, flip book handouts, a slideshow, what-have-you, to bring your concept across. You may use physical or digital formats to present your concept, or a combination of both.
Your presentation to the scary studio execs will be featured in your physical diary in the form of a staged video, or if this is not feasible within your means, a photoset of the presentation with accompanying script.
The logo is an indication of the series. The fun, whimsical font in a green textured fabric hints at the use of these textures for the characters. A small snail sits on the ‘H’ to indicate the farm setting. Using a snail keeps the design simple (and easy to interpret) but also doesn’t detract from any of the other main animals found on the farm that may make regular appearances.
The complimenting font again has a crayon texture and creates real child like feel with the handwritten style.
For both male and female audiences to relate to I have used a boy and girl host. Max and Rosie are best friends and class mates who meet in a tree house located on Max’s farm. Max and Rosie are around the age of 7. Peck is a chicken who also hosts and is used to add an element of fun (as kids love animals) and responsibility being a pet on the farm.
Other characters seen will be animals on the farm, occasionally other school children and their teacher. It is also possible to include their families (siblings, parents, grandparents) however one option could be to use a voice for their parents without ever actually showing a character.
Critique / Feedback
My assignments all require feedback throughout the design process to allow me to refine my design ideas.
“Hey Lauren! Great concept. Kids love animals and having a farm setting has so many possibilities (education about growing veggies and sustainable living etc). The characters look cool and relatable for kids. I’m really hoping that chicken dances! I like the title of the show. Would it be hard for little kids to pronounce though? Just a thought. I question the relevance of the snail. It’s not a typical farm animal and seems a little out of place to me particularly as a feature of the logo. Wondering what the two sticking up lines are on the second last “o” in the title? I like it but don’t know what it is. Only other comment about the logo is (I like the font as it’s playful and suits your theme) but without knowing straight up what the name of the show was it was difficult to read. Something to keep in mind considering Hullabaloo is not a common word. Other than that I think it’s a winner. Well illustrated too! – MR”
“Hey Lauren, this is super cute! I love the colour palette and your drawing style (Peck is gorgeous). I see what MR means about the Hullabaloo being hard to read. Perhaps try that again without joining the letters or try it in capitals. Love the texture. Sure it would be hard for the really little kids to say but they’ll have fun trying and the age group is 4-8 so by the time they’re at the older end of the spectrum, they’ll nail it. I wouldn’t worry about that. I can see the strings at the top there and personally I don’t think they fit at all, sorry. Also the snail is a cute addition actually. Snails are all over farms MR! Where have you been looking? Bahahaaa! Good job, Lauren. A couple of tweaks and it’ll be excellent. I’m sure Peck in particular would melt the heart of any ‘suited stiff’. – KC”
“Almost everything said (so hard to comment after MR and KC) but have to tell you that I love your illustration style. I’d say kids love tongue twisters. Think of Dr Seuss. – EK”
“Hey Lauren, I think you have all the feedback you need, everything has been covered. I knew it was a tyre swing by the way 🙂 I think Hullabaloo would be fine for kids, pretty sure there was a hullabaloo in the Rescue Rangers when I was a kid, and there’s a kids show called Wehballoo or something that seemed of for the kids to pronounce. It would sound cute anyway if they couldn’t. – MH”
After the feedback received I updated the logo by changing the kerning and removing the tire swing. I downloaded the Crayon Crumble font here.
It was fun to get out the kiddy crafts and make this concept set – felt like a kid again!
I see a large emphasis on story lines such as:
- Music (singing and dancing)
- Adventure and safe imaginary play
- Daily activities
However other options such as the following could also be:
- Everyday tasks for before and after school
- School activities and issues (bullying etc)
- Pet and farm responsibilities
- Responsible living (environmental)
- Other creative play such as imagination, arts and crafts, cooking
To conclude this is certainly a difficult age group to captivate I’ve found it’s important to keep an element of reality. Use of animation will generally create a larger range of storylines for roughly the same price as hired actors and real sets.