Breaking the Boy Code is a podcast on the inner lives of boys, led by boys themselves and interwoven with the perspectives of leaders in progressive masculinity. Although the podcast is supported by Next Gen Men, a nonprofit focused on masculinity, it’s essentially a solo project. I’ve done everything from the branding, website and social media, to the writing and audio production.
I chose a wolf for the branding of Breaking the Boy Code because I wanted to avoid gender symbols and traditional ‘boy’ iconography. The social behaviour of wolves have connected them to masculinity for a long time—think Cub Scouts, for example.
I came across a unique royalty-free wolf vector while researching imagery. The juxtaposition between its simple exterior and complex, beautiful inside matched the purpose of the podcast. I combined it with an old photo by German photographer Lothar Sauer as the basis for the podcast’s branding, using off-black and -white colours to match the levels of the photo, and Next Gen Men’s main orange colour as an accent.
The website’s main purpose is a landing page to convert from social media to podcast episodes, and vice versa. As such, it features simple design, with the logo, sans-serif font, Font Awesome icons and not much else. The website is responsive, with the footer integrating a MailChimp email subscription form, as well as widgets from Apple Podcasts and Google Play.
View the website here.
Social media is a crucial part of promoting the podcast and interacting with its audience, so I’ve put effort into creating a consistent visual standard and a commitment to quality on a variety of social media platforms. The goal is to have a recognizable source of content regardless of where it is, and a social media presence that indicates high-quality audio content on the podcast itself.
I have lots of experience with graphics and website design, but this podcast was my first time recording and editing audio. I used a RØDE Podcaster microphone and Adobe Audition to record, edit and process audio. For the theme music, I chose an instrumental song by Christian Nanzell that had a slow, record-style start followed by a drop with a good amount of energy.
Creating audio is a learning process but I’m excited to be adding another skill to my toolkit.
When I was sharing Breaking the Boy Code through Original Story Design Co. channels, I called it one of the most important and multidisciplinary projects I’ve ever worked on. That sounds a little dramatic, but it’s true. From conceptualizing the idea, designing the branding and website, writing the content and producing the podcast episodes themselves, this has been a project using all of my abilities. Stay tuned for more.