If you're in the podcast industry, you know Hot Pod. It's the go-to newsletter about everything good bad and inbetween in podcasting. After months of dutifully reading the newsletter every week, I befriended its maker, the delightful Nick Quah. When Nick wanted to do a redesign of his logo and brand, he came to me. Together we got to make something that encapsulated the personalized whimsy of Hot Pod, while giving it a more professional and polished look.

When we started, this was Hot Pod's logo. We talked through what Nick liked — the handwritten style that made it feel personal, the watercolor, the bold blue, the readability.  Then we talked through what he wanted to see in a new logo — trustworthiness, professionalism, playfulness. The next step for me was to start looking through inspiration and building a visual language for the project. 

Nick's talk about clean, professional playfulness drew me initially toward the colors and typography of the 1970s. Bold sans-serifs, creative layouts and illustrative elements all felt like they could be great starting points for Hot Pod. Nick also gave me a push in a great direction, he said he wanted to see something that looked like "it could be from a British children's book." For that I pulled up drawings with clear lines and bright colors, especially from one of my all-time favorite illustrators, Quentin Blake.

I worked in Illustrator to make a million sketches of different ideas, working with a single idea until I felt like I'd explored it, then trying to force myself into a right turn and a new idea. From that starting point, I picked three clear directions and pitched them to Nick to develop further. 

The final three options as presented to Nick. While each have their strengths, he ultimately went with my favorite, the pill. It gave us so much flexibility in terms of color, shape, and illustrative elements we could potentially use in future projects. It gives the idea of a "dose" of podcast news, holds onto whimsy, and still looks clean and polished. The edges of the pill aren't quite even, I started referring to it as a "splotch", to invoke a paintbrush stroke put down onto the page.

Style guide time! All best practices and guidelines are laid out. This page shows the final color palette, pulled directly from good ol' Quentin Blake.

Final delivery! All of the logo iterations, backgrounds and elements you'll ever need. 

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