On the 14th floor of the Fifth Third building Downtown, the office of Speak and Tell Studios (20 N.W. Third St. Ste. 1430) is a world of color, creativity, and functionality. When founders Justin Givens and Eric Smith open the tan front door, it’s hard to decide which to focus on: the stark decor or the podcasters’ even bolder personalities.
From a faux graffiti wallpaper to their list of client services, it’s all about the details at Speak and Tell. The studio opened its doors in October 2020 after Givens and Smith started their own podcast, Backyard Memoirs, in July 2020.
“Our podcast was kind of the flagship podcast to start off and we were searching for spaces where we could record,” says Smith, the former executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Indiana.
The office includes a main room with a record wall; graffiti wall; front desk; lounge space with a video game console, microphone collection, and local art; a snack bar and kitchenette covered in stickers; and a meeting space with a white board and moveable tables and chairs.
The contemporary-designed foam panels and sound reflectors on the podcast room’s walls aid recordings, combining form and function. There’s also the control room where Smith houses his favorite recliner for production and editing, a storage room, and the video room complete with a waterfall green screen and light rigs.
“We talked about the style and kind of what we envisioned for the place, and it had to be fun,” says Givens, a former technical writing consultant. “We wanted it to be somewhere we enjoyed coming every day and be able to explore artistically. It’s just funky and a combination of different stuff that we like.”
Besides the artistic, evolving design, the studio provides clients who utilize its video production, podcast recording, voice over, and memory recording services with a stunning view of the Northwest side of Downtown.
“We want to be with other creative people and see them be successful,” says Smith. “It’s not a competitive landscape. You can come and play with our stuff, or if you want to bring your own, we’re here.”