Welsh broadcaster S4C today launches its pre-school service, Cyw, under an identity created by Cardiff consultancy Bait.
The characters of Cyw and friends, designed by Bait for production company Boomerang, were first introduced to S4C’s younger viewers with last year’s relaunch of Planed Plant Bach, aimed at seven- to 12-year-olds.
S4C then took the decision to take one of the characters, Cyw – which is pronounced ‘queue’ and means ‘chick’ – as a brand for the nursery service, according to an S4C spokeswoman.
The broadcaster’s in-house design team has worked closely with Bait and digital consultancy Cube to develop the Cyw brand.
Cube has developed a supporting bilingual website, www.s4c.co.uk/cyw, which features games and activities for children, as well as information for parents, while Dinamo has created on-screen Cyw animations.
The new service will bolster the Welsh-speaking channel’s children’s programming by extending broadcasting for nursery-age children to six-and-a-half hours per day.
Cyw is the first phase in S4C’s strategy to introduce a separate Welsh language service for children and young people.
The next phase, according to a spokeswoman, will be for six- to 11-year-olds, while a service aimed at teenagers is expected to launch in the early part of next year. Both of these will require branding, says the spokeswoman.
Bait worked under guidelines devised by broadcast and branding design specialist Proud Creative, which orchestrated S4C’s major rebrand last year.
Bait creative director Paul Nicholas says, ‘We developed the brand for TV idents and background bearing in mind there had to be applications for website and print, looking closely at the [recent] S4C rebrand to make sure the colours worked side by side,’ he adds.
Appealing to both parents and pre-school children was an important consideration throughout the project, according to Nicholas.
‘With an age group so young, we had to create something that was approachably cuddly, but that had to also appeal to their parents. They obviously want to know that it is a safe brand for their children, as they are the ones that are introducing them to it,’ he explains.
The 2001 Census showed that 41 per cent of children in Wales aged up to 14 speak Welsh, an increase of 15 per cent since the 1991 figures.