Have You Met the Lakeshore Kids™?

by Aaron Eskridge | Lakeshore Product Art Director

Lakeshore Kids Sketch with names

Do you love our Lakeshore Kids as much as we do? You know the ones…they hang out on our signs, grace our catalogs and even pop up on our website from time to time. You probably see these smiling kiddos every time you visit our stores…but do you know who they are or where they came from? Just like any other kids, our Lakeshore Kids have a story—and a personality—all their own!

The Lakeshore Kids personify our hope to spark young imaginations, instill a sense of wonder and foster a lifelong love of learning. They represent the heart of Lakeshore so well, you might think we planned it all out—but believe it or not, we weren’t looking to brand our whole company when the Lakeshore Kids stole our hearts!

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catolog cover photoshop

The Lakeshore Kids entered the scene on the cover of our 1992 catalog (shown above). The cover features five smiling children standing behind paintings that perfectly match their features—from their outfits all the way down to their skin tones. We hoped to capture the true magic of our new People Colors® Paint…a product we made to help every child create a self-portrait and say, “This is ME!”

After we released the catalog, everyone wanted to see more of the Lakeshore Kids! Artist Ron Ellsworth (affectionately called “Doc” by his co-workers) created digital versions of the kids so we could put them anywhere…from hall passes to store signs. He even gave them their very own names: Alex, Brandy, Ricky, Keisha and Scooter.

Before we knew it, these kids became a beloved symbol of Lakeshore. People loved our kids so much, we even published a book about them called What Do You Want to Be? When teachers toured our offices, they brought their books so Doc could sign them.

Eventually, even our Lakeshore Kids experienced growing pains. While Lakeshore grew like a well-fed teenager, our kids stayed frozen in time…and started looking a little old-fashioned. In 2013, on the kids’ 21st birthday, we decided to let them grow up a little.

We called on artist Brandon Starr to reinvigorate the gang. Brandon’s new concepts gave the kids a modern twist, but kept each of their unique spirits intact. Even better, his lively designs let us show the youngsters doing lots of exciting activities—just like real kids!

Lakeshore Kids Sketch 2

That’s where the story ends…for now! With such big hearts and bright personalities, we know our Lakeshore Kids have only just begun to instill a lifelong love of learning in kids around the world!

Want some Lakeshore Kids to brighten up your life? Here are some of our favorite products:  

One thought on “Have You Met the Lakeshore Kids™?

  1. That’s not quite how it happened — and I was there! Doc named Scooter; the rest of the kids were named by asking all of the Lakeshore employees to chime in with their own votes. And Keisha’s name has changed, but I won’t reveal how!

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