“A podcast exploring classic sci-fi anthology television”

Introduction

Anthology is a podcast hosted by Matt Hurt. In the show, Matt explores and reviews one episode of a classic sci-fi series each week, starting with The Twilight Zone. Since Matt hasn’t seen the show before, the audience isn’t just getting Matt’s opinion on the show, they are actually discovering it along with him. Anthology includes bonus reviews and discussions about related series and topics. After trucking through all 156 episodes of The Twilight Zone, Matt plans to continue his show by taking on different sci-fi anthologies such as Tales of Tomorrow and The Outer Limits.

Direction

After exploring a number of different directions, I chose to retain the basic vision of the old cover. The previous design had a strong concept, playing directly to the Twilight Zone opening sequence. The eye also works as a visual cue that the show is about Matt watching these classic shows. Where the old cover fell short was mostly in the execution and standing out from the competition.

Old Anthology Cover Art

Old Anthology Cover Art

However, I wanted to allow room for the future flexibility of the show by making the visual ties to The Twilight Zone a little more ambiguous and subtle. The main priority was to evoke that classic sci-fi feel rather than connecting Anthology exclusively with The Twilight Zone. I wanted to bring a strong visual style to the podcast; something that would make Matt’s show stand out visually in the same way that the actual content differs from other shows about The Twilight Zone.

If you search for “the twilight zone” in iTunes, you will quickly see that almost all of them use a black and white color scheme and recreate the original Twilight Zone typographic style. I wanted to show that Anthology is different; it’s a modern take on a classic genre.

Notice any trends?

Notice any trends?

Process

As always, I started my design process with a ton of research. I mentioned earlier that I looked into competing podcasts, but I also researched a lot of historical sci-fi art and designs. I took note of typography, color schemes, styles and compositions.

I took the insights that I gleaned and started putting pencil to paper, exploring different concepts and layout. As I said, I chose to stay with the ‘floating eyeball’ concept fairly early on in my process so a lot of sketching was dedicated to exploring different visual styles for the eye as well as various arrangements for the main elements of the design.

anthology-sketch-3

anthology-sketch-1

anthology-sketch-2

This exploration continued as I moved back to the computer. I took a very iterative approach to determine the font, typographic treatment, color scheme and composition of the piece.

 

Just some of the eye variants I went through.

Just some of the eye variants I went through.

The final color scheme allows the typography and main illustration to stand out nicely off of a muted purple background. I avoided pure white because it proved to be too overpowering. The very light purple gives a nice contrast without distracting the viewers eye. This palette allows the composition to maintain that ‘softer’ retro feel. The teal adds an interesting mid-tone that stands out nicely from the purple and off-white. The complementing purple and teal evoke that “vintage eeriness” that is so endearing in classic sci-fi art.

 

Typographic explorations can get messy.

Typographic explorations can get messy.

The colors perfectly compliments the highly stylized, retro typography that is directly inspired by old science fiction film posters. I gave the primary elements of the layout a textured look to reinforce the idea that we are hearkening back to the past with a modern perspective.

The eye is the center of composition and dictates the overall style and feel of the cover. It evokes the Twilight Zone eye while being totally distinct in form and mood. The stars and subtle “Twilight Zone Swirl” were added both as a nod to the godfather of sci-fi anthologies and to add some depth to the layout.

Final

Overall, the final cover art is very eye-catching even at small sizes and stands out distinctly from the competition. It is a contemporary reimagining of classic science fiction style that segues perfectly into the content of the Anthology podcast.

Final Anthology Podcast Cover Art

Final Anthology Podcast Cover Art

“I am incredibly pleased with Zach’s work and the amount of care and thought that went into getting my cover art designed. Zach was extremely easy to communicate with and a complete professional throughout the entire process. I got a perfect design because of the talent of the artist and because he went the extra mile to truly understand and care about what my podcast and brand is about. The level of service and professionalism at podcastdesigner.com is unmatched and I’m really looking forward to working with Zach again and recommending him to fellow podcasting friends.”

Matt HurtAnthologyMatt Hurt