In depth

YouTube Kids is growing up

How is YouTube Kids different from YouTube? Well, it’s basically more awesome! Why? Because just like its parent, YouTube kids offers you new content based on your watch history however limits the content to only curated, family-friendly videos and channels.


If a 3 year watches YouTube Kids, it will be packed with Thomas the Tank Engine or puppies causing trouble. However, a 7 year old might see loads of creative DIY videos, fidget spinner tricks and that catchy Despacito song featuring Justin Bieber. We created a diverse character universe that evolves with the kids, just like the content.


Logo concept

Since we helped create the YouTube Kids logo, we understood that the logo should always jump, expand, collapse, dance and be active. Inspired by all the crazy, funny characters from the YouTube Kids world and just like most kids, a logo that cannot sit still!


Who lives on planet YouTube

Our goal was to create a completely new and diverse universe with a wide array of characters, where it was possible for every child to find something that they could relate to or identify with. Creating a broad spectrum of cute quirky, cool and silly characters allowed us to reach kids of all ages and interests.


We decided to build the characters based on the real world of YouTube – keyboard cat, bottle flipping, slime and so on. We built every character using a scale specifically created for the project. The idea was that every character had to hit the perfect balance between cute and fun, with a touch of weird.


Drawing on each other’s drawings

The illustrators worked closely together on the project, occasionally drawing on each other’s sketches to add extra details or quirks. Two minds are always better than one and we know that sharing is key to creating great ideas.


The first step to developing the universe was to push the boundaries for how weird and wonderful the characters could be. We shared and swapped our ideas by going old school with pen to paper.


Then we scaled it back to make sure we hit that cute vs weird balance. The aim was to create as many original and authentic characters as possible, made especially for this universe. Through the process it was also important to not “talk down” to the kids and instead create a world that reached a wider audience including adults - inspired by how Adventure Time is enjoyed by all ages.


That one time in life where your darling sprinkle toast design actually turns into an oversized bean-bag :D


Type:

Branding

Client:

YouTube

Deliverables:

UI, Concept

Character design for YouTube Kids

In 2017 YouTube asked us to create a new character universe that could help ‘age-up’ their app. The original character we created for YouTube 1.0 ‘The Dude’ worked really well for a younger audience but did not appeal to 12 year olds. The challenge was to rethink our approach and broaden the audience while maintaining the recognizable and relatable elements of YouTube Kids and create an app that could evolve with the child’s interests.

We helped develop a new universe that included 70+ characters who could live together inside YouTube Kids and that could evolve with the child as they grow up.

In depth

01

Logo concept

02

Who lives on planet YouTube

03

Drawing on each other’s drawings

Logo concept

The logo is inspired by the way children play - it can transform into many shapes. Visually it’s inspired by the kids drawing style – they start with the stroke, then add the color.

Design concept

The inspiration came from the world of YouTube twisted with a bit of weird to create a balance between cute and fun.

Alright, it's time to grow up

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We creates joyful digital ideas, products, brand identities and experiences that connect the hearts of brands to the hearts of their audiences.