case study: Climate Radio
making the serious accessible
A broadcast journalist with a drive to raise awareness about the climate crisis had begun a new radio adventure, producing a series of weekly radio shows. He was doing some hard talk with the talking heads who were playing the big roles in this unruly, unholy and wholly human drama.
The shows were being rebroadcast internationally and shared by selected websites. The project needed to promote itself in print and online – banners, business cards, magazine adverts, CDs. It also needed a website to become a thriving archive for the shows’ audio and accompanying written commentary.
The first vital element was a visual style to sell the series’ mix of serious-news-story approach and unpretentious tone to this growing global audience. The feeling had to be informed, yet friendly. It had to cut through discomfort. It had to be reliable and accessibile. I found this illustration for inspiration.
Using planetary green and blue – plants and sky – as the primary colours was the predictable but irresistable choice. There was already a fun lo-fi logomark in place, of a hand holding an old transistor radio, with a colourful storm swirling over the speaker. I added the Climate Radio name using a classic typewriter font paired with Times New Roman – the classic newspaper lettering. Together they underline the serious nature of these radio shows, while keeping things playful.
For a quick way to spread the word, business cards were put to work publicising content rather than pushing contact details.
A photographic image was sourced for the CD sleeves, striking yet simple enough to let the text take centre stage.
Adverts for The Ecologist magazine and Earth Matters newsletter, designed to get noticed and give the public a taste of what to expect.
Digital banners were created to integrate with a variety of websites and drive traffic to the Climate Radio website.
The website required some thought: how to keep it easy to navigate but brimming with content? Opting for a lefthand menu meant more space to expand and reveal the multiplying number of series. Creating the site in WordPress streamlined the process and ensured it can be painlessly maintained.