Pentagram Injects Fun And Play Into Fisher-Price Brand Refresh
by Rudy Sanchez on 01/12/2020 | 2 Minute Read
Fisher-Price is a toy brand for young children that’s been in business since 1930. As a long-established and storied brand, some of its lines, such as Little People and Power Wheels, have become indispensable fixtures in toy stores and childhood in general. As part of a new brand strategy, Fisher-Price is placing more emphasis on fun and play, so they brought agency Pentagram onboard to refresh the brand identity.
Pentagram tapped into Fisher-Price’s long heritage to create an entire visual language based both on historical assets and the emotions surrounding playing with toys. Since the toymaker makes products for children from newborns to primary school-aged, the new brand identity needed to be extensible enough that it can be used across a broad range of toys, including licensed product lines featuring Batman, while maintaining brand cohesion.
The iconic red awning is retained and modified from 4 scallops to three, representing the three founders, Herman Fisher, Irving Price, and Helen Schelle, as well as the link between the toymaker, parents, and children. Likewise, the awning maintains the full Fisher-Price name, but Pentagram included additional variations, including a circular treatment containing the brand’s initials in lowercase. They used circles, curved lines, and the scalloped awning like kids’ building blocks to compose new visuals, something Pentagram called “Play-mojis,” and they found inspiration in the faces of Little People toys. You can find those same graphic elements applied to both babies and young kids’ toys.
In researching the brand’s history, Pentagram discovered that Fisher-Price used a proprietary typeface based on Windsor extensively, giving the brand a consistent and bright typographic identity. Pentagram employed a similar strategy, creating two new types for Fisher-Price, “Let’s be Glyphs,” a semi-sans serif font informed by the original typeface, as well as a more quirky and fun variation, “Let’s be Glyphs, Bouncy” that features rotated characters and an uneven baseline. The typography gets further tied to the overall visual branding by replacing hyphens with semicircles; the secondary type gets set in clean and contemporary Maax.
Ultimately the new visual identity captures the spirit of play and reminds parents of the fun and joy they had playing with classic toys like the Corn Popper or the Chatter Phone when they were kids, all while being adaptive enough to be applied across many toy lines, including licensed products.