Okay, so I really think we need to take our Dream Job column to Adobe MAX next year – because there is no job out there quite like this one! Hearing Theresa Fitzgerald (the creative director/graphic designer for beloved children’s TV show Sesame Street) talk at Adobe MAX opened my eyes to the importance of design in the context of children and education.
Sesame Street’s morals, values, life lessons, manners and just basic friendliness touches a special place in so many hearts, even as adults. It’s hard not to laugh when the cookie monster comes onto the scene to excitedly gobble down handfuls of crumbling cookies, followed by curiously raising sometimes hard questions about the important things! It’s equally hard to hold a straight face when watching him trying to communicate with Siri for this Apple commercial back in 2017 – how does his humour never get old? How have they managed to maintain that magic?
Theresa discussed Sesame Workshop, a not-for-profit doing great work to meet children’s needs in more than 150 countries within classrooms, on screens and in communities with their hero characters. Theresa explains that the Sesame Workshop mission has always been to help kids ‘grow smarter, stronger and kinder’, and you can see the difference it’s already making. What a feat!
Continuing on with her captivating presentation, Theresa also shared a range of recent projects she has been working on at Sesame Street, including the wonderful 50th Season logo! Even out of context, anyone would know immediately where this logo belongs, Theresa has managed to squeeze every essence of Sesame Street into one very cute design! She also shared with us the character profile cards of some of our favourite members. These are properly designed ‘passport’ style cards, with a profile photo, along with general information such as age, birthday and to our great humour, the personality traits of that character.
I could talk about Theresa and her incredible contribution to Sesame Street all day, because is so much more than a children’s television show, BUT I will leave you with the same thought that Theresa closed with on teamwork, which I’m pretty sure could easily be translated into a conversation between our good friends Bert and Ernie. Theresa urges us to ‘Grow with intention talent and temperament. There’s no ladder’. Such good advice, and not always easy to remember. I strongly urge you to read more about Sesame Workshop and what good it’s doing for the world!