End Scene

Theatre Season Announcement

Brief

Problem:

Professional contemporary theatre company is staging its final productions in its home of over 30 years before moving into a new building. 

Solution:

Create a specialized package for the final shows and design a two-part promotion that spans shows in both the historic and new theatre buildings. The first half of this promotion would be titled Act One: End Scene and the second would be Act Two: Lights Up. 

The visual design should utilize drama, Phoenix Theatre branding, and imagery from memorable shows of its past to appeal their loyal patron base. 

Opportunity:

Create a distinct identity for the theatre's transitional era that will be executed across print and digital mediums.

Goals:

  • Appeal to theatre's longstanding, loyal patron base.

  • Draw on the theatre's history of challenging storytelling while building excitement for the future.

  • Create a cohesive set of print and digital products for the subscription and the season.

Role:

Creative Direction, Art Direction, Design

Year:

2017

Category:

Promotion

Direction

  • Early conversations with the Executive Director identified the primary needs of the design—to feel dramatic, contemporary, and a little dangerous.

  • Language needed to accomplish multiple things: It needed to carry the weight of losing the theatre's current home, emphasize that the theatre was relocating and not closing, sell the package of final shows, and, failing that, sell the shows individually.

  • Print products were needed for distribution to patrons, including the subscription itself. Digital promotions would also be needed to supplement mailings.

Design

Parameters

Phoenix Theatre already had a strong existing brand and logo that should be highlighted. Budget would also limit certain elements of production for print products, such as the size of the brochure and number of mailings.

Colors

Part of Phoenix Theatre's identity was Phoenix Red, which featured in its logo throughout its 35 years. Though the Phoenix's materials have not always prominently featured red, this promotion would highlight the phoenix's longstanding identity with a simple palette: Black, white, and Phoenix Red. This narrow selection would allow Phoenix Theatre's signature color to dominate the products, while limiting the accompany colors challenged the design to be both bold and simple.

Photography

Because these products were targeting existing patrons, it was important to draw on their history with the theater. Any photography used would be production photos taken during Phoenix Theatre productions. With a 35-year history and ten shows a year, the selection was narrowed to only shows within the last two years. This would result in grainier photographs, which was embraced by the stakeholder.

Font

Futura was selected for its simplicity and flexibility. With the high-contrast color palette and the wealth of information that needed conveyed, using an approachable, no-nonsense sans serif that could serve for body text and titles was the best way to go.

Part Two

All decisions were made with the knowledge that Act Two: Lights Up would release shortly afterwards. Some choices could be adjusted for Act Two, but it was important that if changes were made, that they be to dial up the design, not dial it back. For this reason, it was very important to make choices that positioned us to expand the design, not have to correct it.