The Logo Factory first tried our hand at podcasting about logos and design way back in 2008. Took another short-lived shot at it in 2011 before seemingly hanging up our podcast microphone for good. Now we’re moderately sure we’re going to have another go. Or maybe not.
Our shop was an early adopter of the whole podcasting thing, releasing our first effort back in 2008. Trouble is, setting up for that solitary release took just under three months and rather than focusing on substance – the actual content – we turned our efforts to having it sound professionally produced, and look like something befitting a design studio that specialized in designing logos. We built a decent recording rig complete with mixer boards, professional microphones, pop screens and every other production widget we could find. Any podcast worth it’s salt had great bumper music – the tunes before whoever’s doing the podcasting starts podcasting – but rather than buying some thirty second electronic elevator music from one of the many sites dedicated to just that, we up and composed, then recorded our own damn music. That required the use of Reason and Live, two professional production applications with rather steep learning curves, some MIDI keyboards, cables for same, a Firewire patch box and a few sequencers. Of course, we’re a design studio so that music needed its own brand, name and logo. We literally spent months on our exciting new podcast project, doing everything but actually podcasting and before we had recorded a second of actual content, enthusiasm had already begun to wane. We managed to get one solitary podcast out the door before some pressing matters grabbed our attention, and our first podcasting attempt died on the vine. We wouldn’t try it again until 2011, when we managed to release another two. Before we did though, we hamster wheeled on style again, revamping the music, redesigning the logo, cover, etc, etc. Funny thing, we even have a dedicated podcast page on Apple iTunes.
Cool and all, but that “most recent” date of February 2011 is a constant reminder of what utter failures we were as podcasters, the enterprise permanently relegated to the ever-growing pile of “stuff to revisit at a later date.” We may get around to revisiting it real soon. Or we might not.
For a second though, let’s pretend we are..
Substance over style. Content over flair.
We’ve had many discussions about revisiting podcasting at the shop, the general consensus always being the same – lots of popular podcasts are just people blathering into a mic without going to the extreme lengths we did in the past. Less bells. Less whistles. No fancy, exclusive bumper music (though we have lots), not logos for the tiny album cover. Hell, we couldn’t even settle down on what to call our damn podcast, let alone brand it.Our podcast was initially called Logopalooza, then it was just The Logo Factory, ahm, podcast. There was some question about the actual authorship and attribution – was it as personal project of The Logo Factory creative director (very few people that guy) or was it a gig of The Logo Factory entirely? While one might allow use to be less formal and more intimate, the other had a bit in built in brand recognition. Ours. So let’s try to figure out what we would do, if we ever decided to launch a podcast channel again. Or soon.
Branding of a design podcast.
First, and if we wanted any traction at all, we’d have to standardize the branding for the absolute last time. No, not “here we go again,” kinda thing, more along the lines of “let’s finalize with what we already have” kinda thing. We have such a brand – The Logo Factor, a germ of an idea that’s been kicking around as a sub-brand of our shop proper. We have the named domains. We even have a nifty logo that might work for any new podcast that we might (or not) launch. We wrote about this last year, but here she be:The concept is simple – a logo represented the spark plug “driving” any branding efforts. The spark plug graphics were neat, but the typography and that weird exclamation mark are what make the logo special. Maybe it can finally be put to use, rather than sitting around collecting digital dust. Strip ’em down and and tailor to fit this (maybe) rebrand and (maybe) new podcast launch:Simple. To the point. Seems that after 8 years of messing about, we finally have a podcast name and a logo that we can live with. In terms of authorship and attribution, The Logo Factory has a built in recognition factor (get it?) with the people we’re ultimately dealing with day-to-day. Turns out the decision isn’t a difficult one at all. This:So now we have a cover of our new podcast, if we were to launch such a thing. Keeping in mind that a podcast (or album) cover gets served up in lots of sizes depending on where you’re looking at on the Apple network, let’s see how adaptable this cover might be:Ya know, that ain’t half bad. Not bad at all. What about a branded website you say? Yeah, we could probably do that too. It might look something like this:Okay, the website could be pretty interesting. If we actually decided to commit to the podcasting part of this project that is. Right now we’re just hamster wheeling.
Record the stupid thing already!
In terms of gear, and if we were to revisit this podcasting thing, we’d dial everything waaaay back. Might pick up a $70 USB microphone with some noise-cancelling functions that might be currently sitting next to my laptop so that if we were to podcast again, and whenever I think of something to ramble on about, I simply would have hit a record button. Not going to try our hand at being Jean Michelle Jarre this time either – we’ll just use some of the old music we already have. We’re not even going to worry if there’s some background noise – a dog barking in the distance or the quiet sound of our fish tank burbling in the background. You’d just have to put up with them. We recorded our original podcasts in the wee hours to avoid ambient sound and lost our marbles if there was as much as chair wheel squeak. We ain’t doing that again. The new version of The Logo Factor podcast, if it was ever a thing, would be more about substance than style, a modest, intimate affair in technical production terms. Hell, we may even do a podcast about this post.
Or maybe not.