Pentagram rebrands Fisher-Price to convey fun, play and silliness

The refreshed visual identity by Emily Oberman and her team features an updated logo, vibrant graphics and an “unconventional” approach to type that is packed with childlike energy.

Date
9 January 2020
Reading Time
2 minute read

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Pentagram partner Emily Oberman and her New York team have unveiled a rebrand for kids’ brand Fisher-Price that features a custom typeface and vibrant set of graphics, as well as a tweaked logo, that altogether conveys “fun, action, play, celebration, silliness and joy.” Riffing off Wieden + Kennedy’s brand strategy and its newly created tagline, “Let’s be kids,” the typeface is called Let’s Be Glyphs and offers straight and “bouncy” versions, the latter for added visual energy.

The logotype’s update is subtle, with new lower case initials “f” and “p”, and a hyphen that has become a semi-circular “smile”. This curved detail also reflects the original logo’s recognisable “awning” – the scallop-edged shape the word mark sits upon – which remains in the new logo, yet redrawn with a crisper outline and simplified form. The letterforms, Pentagram says, are “slightly more refined than [the] original but still quirky”. The agency also created two new monograms using the company initials inside a circle and awning shape – the latter is referred to as a “flag tag” by the design team, as it can be extended to include copy, or simply used as a graphic stamp on photography (by David Robert Elliott), type (see animation below), packaging or store displays, to denote the Fisher-Price brand.

In a statement about the project, the Pentagram team explains the refresh “highlights a return to a playful sense of fun,” drawing from Fisher-Price’s 90-year heritage and beginnings as a toymaker. As such, the typeface is inspired by research into early Fisher-Price advertising and packaging where the typeface Cheltenham was used consistently. Let’s Be Glyphs was created together with LA type designer Jeremy Mickel and is “a semi sans serif that nods to Cheltenham” and the original Fisher-Price logotype. Meanwhile, Let’s Be Glyphs Bouncy rotates the characters and uses an uneven baseline, for when the brand needs to amp up its childlike energy.

Also part of the agency’s visual identity is a kit of illustrated graphic shapes inspired by the faces on Fisher-Price’s classic Little People playsets. These can be combined in myriad ways to create what Pentagram calls “Play-moji” – emoji-like icons of faces, animals and objects, which can be adapted according to each application. “The age-appropriate approach transitions from cute illustrations for babies to more ‘grown up’ use of patterns for older kids,” the agency explains.

“The new messaging focuses on making an emotional connection and recreating the feeling consumers had when they were playing with toys as children, and to feel okay to keep playing with them now and forever – which is as long as Fisher-Price will be around.”

GalleryPentagram: Fisher-Price rebrand

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Pentagram: Fisher-Price rebrand

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

Jenny joined the editorial team as It’s Nice That’s first news editor in April 2016. Having studied 3D Design, she has spent the last ten years working in design journalism. Contact her with news stories relating to the creative industries on news@itsnicethat.com.

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