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PBS Kids Logo

PBS Kids Logo
PBS Kids Logo PNG

PBS Kids is the generic name for a network of television programs for children on the American Public Broadcasting Service. But this is mainly the branding of the block of programs since some of the children’s programs on public TV are not produced by the stations affiliated with PBS or are produced by independent distributors such as American Public Television. A separate network has a similar name, which has gone through two reorganizations: the early version existed in 1999-2005, the later one started in 2017. In addition to America, it is available in Africa – in countries located south of the Sahara Desert. Its head office is located in Arlington County, Virginia.

Meaning and History

PBS Kids Logo History
Evolution of the PBS Kids Logo

What is PBS Kids?

It is the American brand of children’s television programs broadcast by the Public Broadcasting Service and the television channel of the same name. The program first appeared in 1994, and in 2017 it became a round-the-clock channel. Her website was later launched.

PBS Kids was launched in 1993 as an initiative of its own Ready to Learn project, open to facilitate access to educational programs for children from low-income families. In 1994, the authors combined the programs into a PTV block and added a new P-Pals badge. It collected animated characters in PBS network logos, which represented educational materials from their fantasy world of PTV Park.

In 1999, the Public Broadcasting Service reopened PBS Kids, including several broadcasts and video programs under a common brand. They were intended for children from three to eight years old. The children’s channel worked in this format for six years. Then in 2000, Bookworm Bunch was added to it – a Saturday block that aired in the morning. In 2004, PBS Kids Go! Programs appeared, aimed at senior school age.

In 2005, the network closed, giving way to commercial cable and satellite channels. For a long time, the children’s TV service existed separately and was part of a package of various streaming players. Its final relaunch took place in the winter of 2017 across multiple platforms. Every major update brought its logo. There were five of them in total.

1993 – 1999

PBS Kids Logo 1993-1999

The debut logo of PBS Kids appeared simultaneously with the opening of the channel and was animated. It was developed by studio WGBH-TV, which included designers Chris Pullman and Gene Mackles. It was based on the 1984 test channel Ready To Learn logo, which operated in eleven test markets. The logo consisted of three stylized heads of different colors, decorated with patterns.

The image represented anthropomorphic creatures with arms and legs. They were called P-Pals and were set against a neutral white background. Their colors were constantly changing in the animated version, stopping in blue, orange, and green. The little people danced and sang “This is P-B-S!”, And then froze when a red barking dog appeared at the bottom edge of the screen. At this time, the extreme head said, “Woo-hoo-hoo!”, And the baseball cap flew off it. In the lower corner was the name of the PBS channel. It was painted black. Since 1997, a balloon with the designation E/I appeared on the logo. In this form, the emblem existed until 1999.

PBS Kids Logo (second) 1993-1999

In parallel, a printed version was used, static, without animation. It was also based on three heads – only in a monochrome palette. The first head was black, the second was white, and the last was also black. Only the first was visible, while the rest were depicted in negative space and acted as the background for the extreme. There was a large “PBS for Kids” sign painted in different colors (red, green, and blue) on the right side. The letters were “bouncing,” so they went beyond the straight line. Designers supplemented them with wide rectangular serifs.

1994 – 1999

PTV Logo 1994-1999

In the summer of 1994, the children’s channel was renamed PTV. But this measure was not a radical rebranding since the logo with the P-Pals heads was used until 1999 inclusive. The P-Head version was based on another PBS emblem from 1971. The new logo featured a blue head looking to the left (in previous versions, the head was pointing to the right). Next to it was the letter “T” made up of miniature red balls and a black and white “V” in a vertical green rectangle.

1998 – 1999

PBS Kids Logo 1998-1999

PBS Kids emerged as a concept in early 1997 and was associated with a renaming process as part of continuous research and experimentation. This emblem has been used in promotional videos, splash screens, and animated FableVision. It had a large red circle with three heads, like the 1993 PBS for Kids logo. Below was a wide yellow half-arc directed upwards. It contained the actual name of the channel, followed by an exclamation mark at the end. The acronym “PBS” was white; the word “Kids” was red. The font used is Lubalin Graph Demi. She was designed by Big Blue Dot.

1999 – 2013

PBS Kids Logo 1999-2013

On the day of the premiere of Dragon Tales, the P-Pals (three multi-colored heads) image was completely abandoned, and the new name of the TV channel was approved – PBS Kids. At the same time, mascots appeared on it – Dash and Dot. The logos were designed by Lee Hunt Associates, which included Richard McGuire, designer for The New Yorker, and Bob Shea. At first, the identity animation was carried out by King Camera and Passion Pictures, but in 2000, the updated versions of the television logo were released by the Primal Screen company.

The round logo featured two smiling faces, one a boy and the other a girl. They had different hairstyles, but otherwise, everything looked the same: round eyes (one large, the other small), a dotted nose, and a half-arc extended upward, indicating a closed mouth. From the heads came small white circles, forming a speech cloud where “PBS” was written in black grotesque. Beneath the green balloons was the word “Kids” in a sleek, capsized typeface.

2008 – present

PBS Kids Logo 2008-present

In 2008, the emblem underwent a minor change. The designers enlarged the balloon and the dialog bubble to accommodate the “Kids” caption. As a result, the name of the children’s network became integral. The developers also tweaked the color, making it light olive. In 2013, the company dropped the Dot badge, leaving only the Dash variant. But in programs, the deleted version is still used along with the new characters Dee and Del. The main creators of the PBS Kids’ on-air image were Primal Screen Studios, Interface Media Group, and Karptoons.

Font and Colors of the Emblem

PBS Kids Emblem

The identity of the children’s channel went through a long and serious redesign, after which it received the most harmonious logo. Development moved from multi-structured forms to simple and singular. Therefore, instead of three faces located in profile, one is used, placed in full face. It is cheerful, smiling, which corresponds to the mood of the children’s audience.

PBS Kids Symbol

Two types of typefaces were used in the logo at different times: Lubalin Graph Demi and PBS KIDS Headline. In the early versions, the signature palette consisted of red, blue, green; in the later ones – they were yellow, white, black, and green olive.