My Rescue Rocks is a podcast that gives pet advocates and rescuers a place to share stories on behalf of themselves and the animals that they love. The creator, Rebekah, is using the power of podcasts to help to raise awareness about dogs, cats, birds and any other animals that need help and homes. My Rescue Rocks educates and entertains the audience with heartfelt stories from people who are out there doing the dirty work on behalf of animals in need. As you listen to her show, you can tell that Rebekah cares a great deal about the cause of rescue pets as well as the production quality of the podcast.
As someone who has adopted a rescue dog, this project was pretty close to my heart. If you’re thinking of getting a pet, definitely consider adopting from a shelter.
The strength of the original cover art was that it showed a clear vision of it’s target market. The audience is more feminine and skews slightly older to individuals and families that are more likely have the stability to be able to help animals in need of a home. The colors, imagery and whimsical font were a step in the right directions, but there were some issues just begging to be resolved.
The cover was busy, with too many competing elements and no strong hierarchy to help the viewers sift through the design. There were also some typographic issues that needed to be sorted and stylistic improvements to be made.
As usual, I started by producing a pile of sketches and thumbnails. My initial instinct was to simplify, simplify, simplify. The marks that I was coming up with had their strengths, but Rebekah is making an intentional move to emphasize that My Rescue Rocks is not just about dogs. She wants to help animals of all different shapes and sizes and my design needed to embrace that plan.
So I decided to include simple, custom silhouette illustrations of four different animals representing a much wider variety of animals. I took inspiration from my own rescue dog to emphasize the joy that these animals have when they finally find a home and family that makes them feel loved.
One of the challenges of this design was including so many pieces without overwhelming the viewer. The last thing I wanted to do was to redesign the cover art without resolving the issue of busyness. A strong, finely-tuned hierarchy was the key to reigning in the different elements.
I gave the text the most emphasis using size and contrast. The other elements were carefully arranged and the colors were balanced to give the eye a comfortable path through the composition. The result is a cohesive design that visually guides the viewer through the cover art.
The world of pet rescue is very much about gentleness and love, but there is also a certain toughness involved. Many of these animals have been through a lot and it’s not always easy to help them. Sacrifices are made every day and it takes a boatload of determination to stick with it. It’s no accident that the final layout has some things in commonalities with the quintessential “Mom” tattoo; both represent the unique intersection of tenderness and strength.
The final piece doesn’t just communicate the show topic clearly. It also implies that behind the main message of relief and comfort is the resolve needed to stand up for those in distress.
The harmonious, cheery color palette and curved, inviting typography bring a distinctly feminine feel to the piece without being too in-your-face or exclusionary. The original color palette needed some minor improvements to be more effective: I lightened and warmed the purple so that it wouldn’t be so ‘heavy’ and dominate the composition. I also shifted the blue to remove the slight green tone and make is mesh better with the purple. Instead of the overpowering bright pink, white was used as the highlight color for the text. The heart offers a frame for the rest of the elements to rest in which sets the eye at ease.