Ava Thursday: Ava on Sprout!

Sprout is PBS Kids' answer to Noggin. When it was launched in 2005, it was the first 24 hour preschool network. Why any 2 or 3 year-old would be up at 3 in the morning to watch a TV show was beyond me, but hey, they came to Primal Screen to create their identity and branding, so why question it? The look was inspired by classic children's book art, which art director Ben Prisk took to with great fervor, even going so far as to using real ink, pencil and paint for most of the textures and elements. I didn't do much on the job (hardly anything, really), but I thought that Ben, along with Justin Winslow, Jo Davidovitch and many others did a great job on the overall look of the campaign. It was fun, whimsical and witty. It won several design awards, too.

There was a reoccurring theme to the branding: stalks. Each and every single element produced had stalks that sprouted whatever items that were necessary for that particular spot. One of the ID's was called "Arts & Crafts," with the stalks sprouting many different art supplies like paint brushes, paint cans, pencils, paper, etc. During the spot you see various pieces of artwork flying by the viewer, all ending up on a clothes line to dry.

If you look closely, you'll be able to see some artwork by your favorite 6 year old. Since you aren't sitting in front of your TV right now, I took the time to make some still frames of the ID. (Click on each image to view larger.) Check it:

We see in the beginning the growing stalks and a little girl painting at an easel. To the right, one stalk is sprouting a sketchbook. That girl isn't Ava, in case you're wondering.

As the sketchbook opens, some papers come flying out. What's this? Now who's artwork could that be? Yup, you guessed it. That's Ava's Mommy in Color on the left and her first rainbow on the right.

As the camera pans quickly from left to right, we catch a glimpse of another drawing by Ava. I couldn't find out which one, though. I have it somewheres, I'm sure.

As the camera slows down, we see all the artwork up on a clothes line and a little boy painting in the Sprout logo (my, aren't we talented?). On your left, that's Ava's Baking Cookies.

Last frame of the ID.

Very cool, eh? Ava gets all excited when she sees this come on air, as you might've guessed. I get all excited for her! It was a lot of fun for me to know that her work would be on TV for all to see. Proud papa, that's me. Thanks for indulging me.


  1. Ava must be so proud, too. And what a great way to plus the spots with genuine kid's artwork. Did any other Primal Screen's kids artwork make it in?

  2. What a cool thing to do for your kid!

  3. WAY cool! I can just imagine how excited she must be! I work for a PBS station and during our Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators awards reception I always get a kick out of watching the little kids go bananas when they get see their stories on the TV. Shoot, I still sometimes get a little thrill when I see MY work "out and about" or my name in the credits. Great job, Ava!

  4. Wow! Ava's first commissioned work!

    That girl gonna be famous!

  5. Hey, I happened to stop by and see something familiar. That WAS such a cool, clever addition to that Sprout spot. I'm glad something authentic, made from the hand of a child made it into the look. It's never really the same when an adult tries to mimic a kid's style of drawing. An adult mind just can't recreate that kind of spontaniety and innocent, self-conscious-free art. SO COOL of you to push for that.

    And thanks for the shout out, man. I hope you're doing well, and working on cool new projects.

  6. This is SO CooL! My nephew watches sprout! Wait til I tell my sister in law about this! So cool!

  7. that must be soooo cool for her!! congrats to ava.

  8. congrats to ava! how cool!!

  9. Here we are 3 or so years later and it feels so far away. Just read it again Ward and thanks for having the reminder. I do hope you and your family are well.
    Stay in touch.