When Michael Kurt and I started the podcast Talking To Ghosts in early 2014, I did not have a lot of design experience. I had a strong understanding of the tools that programs like Photoshop provided, but I had not really spent a lot of time designing. The podcast was focused mostly on goth and industrial musicians at the start, and the design ideas grew from that influence.
On the left is one of our earliest logo designs. At the time, I had noticed that many designs for podcast icons tended to feature a large image, gradients, and text. I created a design that took these ideas into account, but the design I came up with was not very visually appealing.
On the right is the next design we used. I wanted to simplify the logo, replacing the text with an acronym and replacing the illustrated skull with one whose colors would blend more into the background. While I liked the idea of the simple acronym, it doesn't convey the name of the podcast at all, and the skull behind the text combined with the gradient still does not look great.
In August of 2014, we introduced a feature to our site titled "Poltergeists". These posts were used to review tracks that we had been listening to regularly. We wanted to keep the ghost theme to our posts, and chose "Poltergeists" because of the association between poltergeists and sound. To create a logo for it, I decided to come up with something reminiscent of . This design was then cropped and used as a banner on the website for these posts:
The edited Hubble image was also used as the background on the Talking To Ghosts website. During the phase of the website's design, we went through several banner ideas.
We started with text that had a colored glow to try and pull it together with the "Poltergeists" banner. Once we abandoned a special banner for "Poltergeists," I changed the glow to a light grey color, and switched to a less thick typeface. Eventually, I moved to a simpler look with the bottom banner, losing the glow and moving to a slightly deco inspired typeface.
Even at this point, there was no unified vision of Talking To Ghosts design across platforms. Our Twitter often had a slightly different design from our Facebook, which in turn had a different design from our website. In late 2015, I decided to develop a unified design for all of our web presences.
This led to what I am calling our Copier design. The main feature of this design is a image that was created from the artifacts of a photocopier; this artifact created a bright band of light across a dark background. This is overlaid with textures of dirty glass and some clouds to give it a little more visual texture. Another feature of this design is that text on images always appears as a white shadow of invisible text. This design appears on the website through the background and banner (left and top right), as well as in the iTunes art (bottom right), and promotional images on Facebook.
As you can see below, the design for Talking To Ghosts has changed significantly over the past two years. I like the think the current design, through its unification of our web presence, creates a clear brand identity that feels tied to the name.