Pre-school show finds True North

True North is gearing up for phase two of a high profile design brief for media group Entertainment Rights’ latest big hope for the ‘congested’ pre-school children’s TV space, Little Red Tractor.

The 3D model animation series about the adventures of a ‘small, but optimistic’ tractor, makes its screen debut in autumn 2004 on BBC’s terrestrial and digital CBeebies channels. If successful, Entertainment Rights plans to distribute the 26-part series worldwide.

Manchester-based True North, which saw off four London consultancies in a five-way ident and style guide design pitch last autumn, this week secured sign-off for the on-screen and merchandising logo. The consultancy will now create a style guide for Little Red Tractor merchandise.

Remaining faithful to the show’s attention to detail was core to the brief, according to True North managing director Martin Carr. ‘The animation style is very authentic and the set, props and characters are more realistic than many pre-school programmes,’ he says.

Carr adds that authenticity was achieved by approaching the show’s animators, Cheltenham-based Little Entertainment Company, to make models for the logo’s lettering. ‘We avoided the airbrushed illustration approach in order to maintain the dimensions and realism.’

Entertainment Rights’ brand manager Charlotte Acton says the style guide needs to act as a ‘sales tool’ for the lucrative merchandising market.

‘It needs to inspire potential licensees and show how the property can work for them,’ she explains.

True North creative director Ady Bibby and senior designer Stuart Price led the project creatively.

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