Launched this week, YouTube Kids is a new mobile app for iOS and Android that filters YouTube’s content into a selection of age-appropriate videos, channels, and playlists in a super simple user interface targeted to 4-year-olds and up. If you’ve ever had your kid go from an innocent Dora the Explorer clip to this explicit dubbed clip (as I have) then you will most definitely appreciate and see the need for this app. “Built from the ground up with little ones in mind”, as this blog post notes, YouTube Kids comes with its own family-friendly identity designed by Copenhagen- and New York-based Hello Monday.
We designed the entire brand identity, including the product interface. The kid-friendly UI uses icons and tips that any young mind can easily understand. Inspired by our own childhood best friends, invisible pals, and favorite toys, we created an animated character sidekick that guides each child through the app, and grows along with them. The visual identity draws from the original aesthetics of YouTube, the mother brand. It’s fun, quirky and embodies the YouTube Kids brand.
The problem most logos targeted at kids have is that they fall into the trap of making it look as if a kid designed it, with scribbles and bad drawings. They usually forget there is an adult that acts as a buffer between kid and product/service/company and that they are part of the audience that a logo needs to appeal to. This logo does that perfectly. It includes the YouTube logo, looking spiffy and minimal — don’t forget it’s gradient-y origins — with the word “KIDS” in playful but grown-up typography all jumbled up, not much different from what any parent’s floor looks like on any given day. The composition is energetic and has better kerning than some straight-up logos we sometimes see. It’s a logo that makes you smile.
In addition to the logo there is an app icon that feels like its own separate project, almost competing with the logo for attention. What ties them together is YouTube’s play-button-TV shape. The app icon is cute and ambiguously gendered and works perfectly small and in the rounded-corner shape of app icons, making it highly recognizable among the sea of kid apps now stored in most adults’ phones and tablets.
Not much in application (pun!) as there is only so many mock-ups you can make of things related to apps, but what little there is to see clearly establishes a mature yet kid-friendly vibe that isn’t cloying or annoying for parents yet very appealing to kiddos. It’s almost like a tame version of Cartoon Network, showing careful consideration not to go too far but also willing to make it feel less pandering than most kids’ stuff.