Responses by María Silva Mora, senior designer and brand strategist, Mucca.
Background: Chora Media is a new Italian podcast company that uncovers personal narratives and unexpected viewpoints to offer a richer perspective of our world. The goal of our work was to uncover the brand’s purpose, developing a positioning that would serve as a platform for our design decisions. Breaking into a market in a country where podcasts are not yet established, Chora targets book and TV series fans looking for a new form of entertainment. The client needed a brand identity that established it as a fresh, trustworthy voice in storytelling.
Design thinking: Our solution began with a concept for the logo. We created letterforms that appear to be seen from multiple angles, a reference to Chora’s mission of bringing new perspectives to stories. Chora is a platform that amplifies voices, so we used a speech bubble container to reflect the power and importance of the personal narrative. This format also contains the flexibility to expand and accommodate different types of content, including multiple product lines.
Favorite details: Like a publishing house, Chora is a vessel for content, but we didn’t think it should be an empty vessel. We were able to create an identity that established a sense of authority and a strong point of view without overpowering the stories. The brand feels current but not trendy, with room to evolve for new opportunities.
Visual influences: We analyzed several podcast companies from around the world that already went through the same startup process as Chora. Our research gave us an advantage, learning lessons from the best of them while avoiding what we considered to be their mistakes.
Challenges: The system for the covers needed a unified look that would visually belong to the same brand. At the same time, it needed a customized treatment for each host. To support Chora Media’s plan to release around 40 podcasts a year, the design had to be tight and easy to implement by the in-house team to reduce back-and-forth approval with the authors. Chora is launching the first podcasts with big names from the radio, literature and TV arenas. We decided that one recognizable design style for every podcast would help build trust and recognition. This, in turn, would help give credibility to podcasts by lesser known names.
Time constraints: Our process for this project included a strategy-and-design phase to be completed by the launch date—a timeline of around four months. But due to some uncontrollable circumstances, we had to launch the first two podcast titles one month in advance of the established deadline.
At Mucca, we try hard to have most of our projects ready days ahead of the client presentation. We don’t always succeed, but in this particular circumstance, we were lucky enough to be able to make it work without any major bruises or breaking our strict “no overnight charrettes” policy. Most importantly, we did it all while maintaining our design standards.