Big Brains Rebrand
Going bigger. And bolder.
The aptly named Big Brains podcast interviews top scholars and researchers from all over the UChicago community. In a relaxed and conversational format, guests chat with their congenial host on a wide range of topics from current affairs viewed through the lens of a behavioral scientist to the future of AI from the perspective of a neuroscientist who’s working to map the human brain. After an initial run of episodes, the podcast team wanted to introduce the show to a whole new audience—one that extended beyond our campus. The show was revamped with an exciting new format and higher production values.
To complement the new format and help the show gain more listenership, UChicago Creative embarked on a brand relaunch in partnership with University Communications. Our objective was clear—the new visual identity had to cut through the clutter. Which is a pretty tall ask when you consider there are more than 800,000 active podcasts out there. Not to mention the need to compete against such well-established brands as NPR and the New York Times.
To do this we created an engaging, vibrant mark with a bolder type treatment and brighter colors. The new brain icon paid homage to the original mark, but was more attention grabbing and contemporary, while still reflecting the gravitas of the UChicago brand. To add flexibility, we created a branding system with diverse color options. That way the mark could be swapped in and out on the podcast platform to signal something fresh and new to potential listeners.
The rebrand was then applied across a variety of creative executions from posters and buttons to T-shirts and coffee mugs. In the short time since the relaunch, the show has experienced tremendous growth—more than tripling its listenership in one year. If you haven’t heard it yet, we suggest you give it a listen.