Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop

Office, San Francisco, New York, New York, 2010


Project brief: When most people think of Sesame Street, they think of Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, and the much-loved television show that’s aired on PBS for 40-plus years. Fewer people know about Sesame Workshop’s important initiatives that are helping kids and their families in 140 countries around the world. Sesame Workshop asked Office to help tell this story through the nonprofit organization’s annual report, which is used to raise awareness about Sesame Workshop’s work and to garner support from the philanthropic and sponsorship communities.

Approach: Office developed the annual report’s concept, design and content to emphasize the range of issues that Sesame Workshop addresses: from slowing the spread of AIDS in Africa to teaching respect and tolerance in the Middle East to fighting childhood obesity in the United States. We spoke with Sesame Workshop’s staff and partners around the world to mine compelling content. We wanted powerful storytelling that would inspire potential funders to provide support. To match the richness and emotional pull of the stories, the visuals mixed Muppet images with hand-cut paper collages, a kid’s drawing, photos of families, scripts from the TV show and a letter from a grateful mom.

Effectiveness: The client was very happy that the report told the Sesame Workshop story in a way that created an emotional connection with its audience, and ultimately helped move potential funders to support the organization. Because it tells the story in a distinctly “Sesame” way, the report has also been used as a broader marketing tool to reach people beyond the targeted philanthropic and sponsorship communities. The client also made the report available online to help reduce the print run and impact on the environment.

Juror Notes

Borrowing a line from a song to tell the story of what Sesame Street does for kids is very effective. True to who they are.

Collections: AIGA 365: Design Effectiveness (2011)
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Corporate communications design
Format: Annual report