The Sleepycast is the official podcast of the FOX TV series Sleepy Hollow, in association with the Nerdist Podcasting Network. It is hosted by writer and podcasting personality, Clarke Wolfe. Clarke recaps episodes, interviews the shows creators, writers, cast and crew and provides other inside information for fans of the show. Before the start of Sleepy Hollow’s second season, Clarke put out a call for artists and graphic designers to design a logo or cover for the Sleepycast. Being a fan of both the show and the podcast, I decided to create an entry for the contest.
The following is the process I went through to create the final Podcast logo or cover design.
Sleepy Hollow is a modern retelling of Washington Irving’s classic story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. The premise of the show is that during the American Revolution, Ichabod Crane, a soldier and spy for the Colonial Army, killed a ruthless Red Coat soldier by beheading him. At the same time, this soldier killed Crane. Through supernatural means, both characters were revived 230 years later in modern day Sleepy Hollow. Crane is forced to adapt quickly to his new time period, including a partnership with Abigail Mills, a lieutenant in the in the local police department. Together, Crane and Abbie must continue the fight against the now Headless Horsemen and other forces of evil.
Sketches & Process
The image of the Headless Horseman had always been such a striking image in any telling of the Sleepy Hollow story, and this is no exception. It is because of this that I immediately began making sketches that revolved around that character. The idea of headphones or ear buds on a non-existent head at first appealed to me, but in the end it didn’t strike the proper tone for such a supernatural, horror-based TV series. And yet, the concept of the Headless Horseman using something that a being without a head (as outlandish as that seems) would use appealed to me. I continued with the idea of using the headphones or a microphone but also included the Crane and Mills characters with the Horseman looming in the background. Eventually, the use of additional characters were dropped in favor of a simpler, Headless Horseman-based design.
The color scheme in this design is very moody to coincide with the dark, horror-themed nature of the TV show. It is mainly shades of gray and black. Gray can be a gloomy color, but it is also associated with being timeless, which also works for Sleepy Hollow since it is also a show about characters out of time.
Black also prominent in the design. It has been associated with death, evil, mystery and strength, which are all associated with the Headless Horseman. Even the sign for the village of Sleepy Hollow is in black in the design, which is signifying danger to any who enter it.
The final color in the logo is red. It is used on the Headless Horseman’s red coat and the horse’s red, glowing eye. Without the color red, the design would be a little too dour. In the case of this design, red symbolizes war, danger, strength and power, which again, are all associated with the Headless Horseman.
The final Sleepycast podcast logo shows the Headless Horseman rearing back on his horse with a podcasting microphone in his free hand. There are spooky-looking tree branches lining the sides of the piece, subtly pointing at the Horseman, which is the focal point of the logo. One of the horse’s legs is brushing past a road sign for the Village of Sleepy Hollow, which featured prominently in the show’s pilot episode. The title of the Sleepycast is in large block-style type at the bottom of the logo. It is accompanied by smaller lettering telling the viewer that it is the ‘Official Sleepy Hollow Podcast’ as well as FOX, which is the network the show airs on.
For the color scheme I chose separate shades of bluish-gray to accompany the prominent black and white to reflect the dark nature of the show. This also makes the red of the Headless Horseman’s coat, as well as the evil red eyes of the horse, stand out even more.