The wonderful hosts of the Keep the Flame Alive podcast asked me to create some promotional materials to help them support their weekly show about Olympic and Paralympic sport. The project included developing t-shirt graphics to raise money for the show, and also designs for enamel pins to serve as rewards for backers of the show's Kickstarter campaign.
"TKFLASTAN" (Team Keep The Flame Alive-stan) is the podcast's fictional nation made up of guests of the show. They keep tabs on athletes' competition results and progress toward each Games. Developing a sort of "look of the team" was the obvious centerpiece of the effort. I developed a brushy style of lettering, mindful of stroke weight as necessary for pin production methods.
TKFLASTAN is pronounced "Tshookflastan," so I thought it would be interesting to use a waveform of the pronunciation as a graphic element. This also would serve as a nod to the show's focus on Paralympic sport. A waveform represents audio, which is one way to connect with the needs of vision-impaired athletes.
And a nation needs a flag! So the waveform is integrated with a design that recalls the parallel tracks of summer and winter sport and a pre-existing compass design the podcast uses for a periodic email newsletter.
The Kickstarter campaign was a way of helping fund the show's trip to Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympic & Paralympic Games, for which they had secured media credentials. We designed two pins as backer rewards. First, a faux National Team pin, which follows the tradition of national Olympic teams creating their own for every Games. Ours integrates the lettering, the flag, and a snowflake for winter. A unique holding shape recalls a shield—a common iconographic element for national teams—but also resembles a facemask, which is a reminder of the moment.
The second pin is focused on the podcast itself, with the lettering from the show's logo, the URL, date, and winter snowflake.
Together we also thought it would wonderful to create a special pin to give only to guests of the show. This delightful little badge of honor formalizes a connection between the podcast and the athletes, coaches, and officials who become a part of the community.