Branding a podcast that wants to have “open conversations” about sex

Supple Studio has designed the visual identity for a new podcast series aimed at young adults, which will discuss all things sex, from HIV to addiction.

Supple Studio has designed the identity for a new podcast series aimed at young adults that aims to discuss sex “openly” and without “judgement”.

Sex Talk has been started by the producers of the National Prison Radio (NPR) station, and is aimed at both prison inmates and the public, particularly those aged 18-35.

It will be presented by Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts, and aims to be host to “honest conversations about sex” say the NPR, featuring episodes on topics such as sexual health, testing for HIV, sex addiction, sexuality and sex work.

Making sense of HIV

While Sex Talk is aimed at both men and women, there will be a focus on explaining and “demystifying” HIV for young men.

The series has been supported financially by Comic Relief and HIV charity Positively UK, alongside Public Health England’s HIV Innovation Fund and other charities.

The visual identity features an up-turned banana, with the name of the podcast written in a calligraphic and italic style above it. The identity takes on the style of neon signs, which was created through computer-generated imagery (CGI) by animation studio Fakery.

“Open up” conversations about sex

The new podcast aims to “open up” conversations around sex and HIV, and so the identity aims to be “accessible”, and “friendly and fun”, says Jamie Ellul, creative director at Supple Studio.

“This is a heavy and serious subject, but the NPR didn’t want it to come across preachy and judgemental,” he says. “It needed to feel accessible and instantly say ‘sex’ without getting into messages about safe sex straight away.”

The banana is “overtly phallic”, he adds, but also aims to represent a smiling mouth, which “softens” the symbol and ties it in with the purpose of podcasts – telling stories.

Neon inspired by sex shops of Soho

The neon aesthetic has been inspired by the signs seen on the streets of Soho in London, which feature sex shows and sex shops, and aims to provide a consistent style for the brand’s typography and messaging.

The logotype is a bespoke typeface created by Supple Studio using their research of sex shop signs, while secondary typeface Tondo by foundry Dalton Maag has been used for copy. Neon signs have influenced the colour palette of pink, purple, blue, yellow and white, with fluorescent inks used in print posters so the colours “really jump off the page”, says Ellul.

A few logos that did not make the cut include a rabbit, and a kiss print that incorporated barbed wire into the negative space. “The first one was excluded for obvious reasons, and the second was deemed too prisoner-focused – that is only part of our audience,” says Ellul.

The new branding has now rolled out across print materials such as posters, and online platforms such as the Sex Talk website and social media.

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