We teamed up with author and business strategist Jenny Blake to debut a new podcast and platform all about doing business differently.
With Jenny celebrating a decade since leaving Google and leaning into full-time solo-entrepreneurship, she found herself pivoting into a new era of her work focused on business-building with ease, joy, heart, and integrity. As professionals everywhere were abruptly pivoted into a new way of working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she knew it was time to let her heart-based business methodology take flight: through a podcast, insider community, and forthcoming book.
Brand Identity System
You've probably heard her name before
We previously worked with Jenny on the launch of her book Pivot: The Only Move that Matters Is Your Next One (Portfolio/Penguin 2016). But more than that, she's a dear friend of the team and at the top of our "favorites" in our iPhone contacts—diving into her mindset and thinking for this new brand came naturally to us.
We were immediately drawn to Jenny's fresh take on business, moving away from the mantras of hustle, grind, and profit, and instead asking: how can I make this easier? How can I have fun? How can I run my business with integrity?
Love + Systems = Freedom
The bigger challenge was to bring hierarchy and structure to a methodology that was still in the early stages of its development. We landed on a two-identity system with logos related in spirit and design, but still able to stand on their own—one for the Free Time podcast, and one for Heart-Based Business, the core idea of Jenny's thought leadership.
The brand strategy reflects Jenny's signature style of merging systems thinking with soul-aligned business decisions. The Free Time podcast would explore how to re-engineer the way your mind, time, and team work, bringing joy, ease, and abundance to the forefront of business-building. Heart-Based Business would be the embodiment of these practices: a business that feels life-giving to run, and that optimizes for the bigger picture of your work, lifestyle, and legacy.
The guiding creative brand idea: Building Business Blissfully.
It's Free Time!
The brand design took finessing, ultimately merging the levity of heart and joy, with the gravity of business and impact. For the wordmark, we modified a favorite typeface to introduce a touch of friendliness, while maintaining its clean, sharp look.
The logomarks take center stage as bold and dimensional characters: by transforming an F into a wing to signify freedom and a B into a full heart, the designs balance intelligence and whimsy, without being overtly silly. Adding an optimistic (but not too primary) color palette and some movement, the brand design gives a nod to old-school Mario—a pastime that impressed generations with its delight and ingenuity.
Delight in every moment
Secondary elements like winged icons and gold balloons continue to challenge the business status quo—why not feel ease and joy in the important work entrepreneurs do? We built out the element system for easy and flexible implementation by Jenny and her team—floating balloons that never had to be identically placed, and flying icons that worked well in various orientations.
Nailing the podcast cover art was key, as it would be the first place people see, discover, and interact with the Free Time brand. We explored dozens of iterations, before landing on a few favorites.
Additional brand materials like podcast episode templates, presentation deck, digital advertisements, and website badge, ensure Jenny is equipped to deliver a full-color brand experience to her audience.
Passed with flying colors
True to heart-based business nature, Jenny envisioned a launch marked with ease, delight, and a touch of soul-inspired spontaneity. She tapped us just a week before the debut to unveil her plans, sharing a nearly-there site she built in an afternoon. We worked swiftly to help get everything to the finish line, from animations to color, font, and element placement.
The first six episodes of Free Time with Jenny Blake launched on 3/21, with a star-studded lineup of authors and thought-leaders including Cal Newport, Emily Heyward, Jordan Harbinger, and Christine Arylo.
Lifting off the shelves
With the brand and podcast debuted, we then turned to supporting Jenny through the next manifestation of her big idea: the Free Time book. While our brand director Marisol worked closely with Jenny on a deep developmental edit of the manuscript, the design team dove into jacket design and interior layouts.
After some focus group testing of covers, the clear favorite came through: a confetti-speckled design with "Free Time" front and center. Jenny immediately fell in love with the celebratory nature of the design and its relation to an exciting, refreshing approach to business.
From there, we turned to interior layouts for section titles, chapter beginnings, end-matter, and more. With each detail we sought to bring the smart yet whimsical Free Time brand to life through the pages.
Free Time: Lose the Busywork, Love Your Business released to bookstores March 22, 2022.
Together is the only team I trust with new projects. They are brilliant at distilling the key messages and differentiators behind the brand, then creatively bringing it to life. I know I'm in great hands from start to finish, and I am always delighted and blown away by the final design.
Jenny Blake / Author of Pivot and Host of Free Time
Let’s work together.