Closer than they Appear

Creative Identity and Social Presence for a Podcast

Closer Than They Appear was the debut podcast from Al Jazeera’s digital audio network.

A ten-episode season follows writer Carvell Wallace as he retraces his life journey from McKeesport, PA to Oakland, CA, investigating race in America along the way.

As an incubation project – an entirely new brand property, editorial focus and medium – Our role was being involved in the overall product development, developing and directing strategy for brand, creative, and platform UX, and providing a team to support production until the project matured enough to have a dedicated staff.

My Role
Creative Direction

Creative Development

After a couple of rounds of exploration, the direction chosen was one that represented fragmentation and re-assemblage of fractured pieces. This represents the host’s personal experience conveyed in the show, and drew inspiration from Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel Invisible Man.

The montage art was produced using analog methods.


In addition to creating a presence for the major podcast platforms, we created a regular schedule of social video – leveraging the 10 million followers of AJ+

For Facebook Watch, we created animated promos for each of the 10 episodes.