Yoto And Pentagram Design An Interactive Audio Player For Children


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Yoto and Pentagram have teamed up on industrial design, innovative branding and visual identity to launch a premium, screen-free, interactive audio player for children.

Yoto, the screen-free audio platform for children, delivers stories, music, radio, and podcasts for families safely with the Yoto Player, a connected screen-free speaker. A key feature of the Yoto Player experience is the controlled use of physical audio cards for playback and audio content. Pentagram, the world’s largest design agency, developed the design of  Yoto Player, it’s brand identity, packaging, visual identity and look and feel for the website and smartphone app.

Pentagram collaborated with Yoto CEO Ben Drury and CCO Tom Ballhatchet and followed a research-led process to develop the Yoto Player. The design team interviewed ten families and children from the ages of 21 months to seven years to understand what was important to them regarding children’s entertainment and education. This informed the interface and design that prioritized kids being in control. Rich, multi-media content cards and two simple push and twist buttons allow easy playback and control of audio. A 16×16 pixel color display shines magically through the front surface of the device, that provides compelling content without distraction.


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Yoto Player’s battery allows it to be used on the go, anytime and includes a magnetic dock so kids can charge it safely by themselves when required. The angled back allows it to be placed upright on any flat surface and can be pivoted back, allowing the display to face the child. Flipping the device on its face launches a special bedtime mode with the displayable to easily switch to sleep mode when the rear nightlight is activated. Pentagram designed the graphic to incorporate the distinctive Yoto friendly, smiley face logo to work across print, online, and on Yoto Player’s 16×16 pixel display. As part of this process the team refined, designed and illustrated every aspect of the Yoto visual identity.

The team used the logo to inspire the letterforms within the wordmark. Castledown by Colophon Foundry was selected as the primary typeface as it is aligned with the Montessori principles that letterforms should mimic the action of drawing letters, as children first learn to write. An aesthetically pleasing typeface that improves students’ reading and writing skills,  Castledown was originally developed by the Montessori foundry as a bespoke typeface to unify typography throughout Castledown Primary School in Hastings.

The Yoto team was aware that the final colour palette had to appeal to both children and their parents, and Pentagram curated a sophisticated palette that feels both playful and modern. The brand has two distinct colour palettes: the Yoto brand colours and the card category colours. Tom Ballhatchet, Chief Creative Officer at Yoto said: “We approached this project with the clear goal of wanting to build on the foundations of our first Yoto Player.  Yoto content cards are divided into six categories: Stories, Music, Podcast, Activities, Sound Effects, and Radio. Users can also purchase ‘Make Your Own’ cards, which allow families to record and link their own audio content.

Previous card categories were hard to identify, as the icons on the back of cards were small, difficult to read, and decipher. Pentagram created a distinct color and icon system to make them easily identifiable by both children and parents. The friendly Yoto face without the circle appears in all category icons, and tailored illustrations indicate each card’s category. These illustrations can also be found across all of the Yoto packagings. Pentagram’s motion design team also explored the limits of the 16×16 screen, and continuously tested it to ensure a dynamic fluid animation appears whenever the device is turned on. Yoto Player’s battery allows it to be used on the go, anytime and includes a magnetic dock so kids can charge it safely by themselves when required.

The angled back allows it to be placed upright on any flat surface and can be pivoted back, allowing the display to face the child. Flipping the device on its face launches a special bedtime mode with the displayable to easily switch to sleep mode when the rear nightlight is activated. Pentagram designed the graphic to incorporate the distinctive Yoto friendly, smiley face logo to work across print, online, and on Yoto Player’s 16×16 pixel display. As part of this process the team refined, designed and illustrated every aspect of the Yoto visual identity. The team used the logo to inspire the letterforms within the wordmark. 

Castledown by Colophon Foundry was selected as the primary typeface as it is aligned with the Montessori principles that letterforms should mimic the action of drawing letters, as children first learn to write. An aesthetically pleasing typeface that improves students’ reading and writing skills,  Castledown was originally developed by the Montessori foundry as a bespoke typeface to unify typography throughout Castledown Primary School in Hastings. The Yoto team was aware that the final colour palette had to appeal to both children and their parents, and Pentagram curated a sophisticated palette that feels both playful and modern.

The brand has two distinct colour palettes: the Yoto brand colours and the card category colours. Tom Ballhatchet, Chief Creative Officer at Yoto said: “We approached this project with the clear goal of wanting to build on the foundations of our first Yoto Player.  Yoto content cards are divided into six categories: Stories, Music, Podcast, Activities, Sound Effects, and Radio. Users can also purchase ‘Make Your Own’ cards, which allow families to record and link their own audio content. Previous card categories were hard to identify, as the icons on the back of cards were small, difficult to read, and decipher.

Pentagram created a distinct color and icon system to make them easily identifiable by both children and parents. The friendly Yoto face without the circle appears in all category icons, and tailored illustrations indicate each card’s category. These illustrations can also be found across all of the Yoto packagings. Pentagram’s motion design team also explored the limits of the 16×16 screen, and continuously tested it to ensure a dynamic fluid animation appears whenever the device is turned on.  

INFORMATION

All images with courtesy of Yoto

https://www.yotoplay.com






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