Koto’s newest rebrand fills in the notoriously unbranded podcast space

“The primary driver for a lack of brand in podcasts is economic in our opinion,” explains James Greenfield, Koto’s founder. “People don’t see the value in spending the time and money to make evolved brands. But it’s quite ironic as podcast discovery is hard and there’s a lot to choose from.” Design lead Issey Conway concurs: “It’s a worthy investment, especially when you look at the way platforms like Netflix have used the science of cover art to drive viewer choice.”
With podcasts becoming more real world facing and community-driven post pandemic, there has never been a better time to evaluate what a podcast identity could be. Brands will need more than a square cover artwork to compete within the burgeoning scene going forward. For People Doing Things for example, Koto has welcomed in a whole range of merchandise and badges to bridge the physical and digital. As such, they also bring branding to another part of the project, its community.
“Our main aim when creating this brand was to put the community at the forefront,” says James. In People Doing Things – the podcast is about emerging founders offering advice to aspiring business owners – the idea of connection is displayed visually, through illustrative icons. Turning to in-house illustrator Shin Hye Lee, Koto suggests the “domino effect” of good advice with interlocking symbols, also used as podcast tiles. A comb, an apple, a suitcase, a dancing human: they all pop up intermittently across the podcast’s various platforms – reminding us ever so slightly of the naive warmth of The Very Hungry Caterpillar with each appearance.
It’s a fact that cover art drives audience choice. Yet while the legacy of album covers fanfare endures and book jacket design undergoes a boom, the poor podcast lays, ever-unbranded. Koto’s fun and multi platform-resilient rebrand for entrepreneurial podcast Young People Doing Things (now just People Doing Things) is here to change all that.