After I had to put my magazine ODOU on hiatus, I felt a void fester away. I missed having something creative and interesting to do in my spare time. For a long time I was fascinated by podcasts where the speaker tells a story. Podcasts that were less conversational and more story driven grabbed my attention. One day I thought a podcast about mental health, told in the same format I was fascinated by, would be fun to kickstart.
Having absolutely zero experience with audio recording or production I jumped in headfirst.
Besides the obvious audio hurdle, I also had to come up with a brand for this podcast. How best could I create something that hasn't been done before? What do I want to convey? How can I ensure each episode's cover art looked like it belonged to a family?
I came across the interrobang back when I was studying design and learning about typography. Why didn't a punctuation mark like it "take off"‽ It encompassed the urgency of an exclamation mark! And the wondering of a question mark? In many ways it made me reflect on how our minds can be attention-grabbing monsters and questioning beasts. I thought the interrobang would be a great start for a podcast about mental health.
I thought there was something very Bauhaus about this approach. I wanted to draw attention to the brain without it being literal. Or using a mic. I also liked the play with the ellipsis as a sort of trailing thought.
I kept experimenting on this avenue but ultimately felt it wasn't the right fit for what I was after.
When I scrapped the Bauhaus look and feel I wanted to see what a more typographic looking treatment could be. The interrobang looked a little odd next to the title of the podcast, as if to say, "Is this what it's called!?"
I then wanted to see what a play with words would look like. The letters all scattered around an isometric grid was visually interesting and I thought it could allude to the mind being a chaotic place.
I also thought laying the letters down flat could look like the speaker laying down their mental health on the table, being open and honest.
A more straightforward, modern take was what I was ultimately working towards. I knew the wordmark had to work at small sizes. When I underlined and overlined the name I thought it was getting somewhere. When I underlined and overlined the word "mind" I thought I was getting closer and closer to something I would be happy with. I experimented with moving the letters of "mind" up and down as if to imply that the mind is chaotic still. But I was also aware not every episode would focus on the difficult aspects of mental health, and so I arrived at the final lockup.
One aspect of starting my own podcast was promoting it on Instagram and sourcing speakers. I really enjoyed looking up the British Library's Flickr account for textbook images and diagrams of brains to use.
I could upload unique episode art and I wanted it to also look like an extension of the wordmark or at least look like it belonged to the same family; where the wordmark of each episode had it's own personality too.