Musical Theatre Network is a London-based organisation created to support and champion the development of new British musical theatre. The organisation’s visual identity, created by brand and design agency Glad, ‘expresses the essence of the network; connecting individuals or groups to create something new and exciting’ through an identity solution that cleverly leverages the length of the name to build a series of simple but communicative anagrams.
These are appropriately drawn from a grid-structured sans-serif logo-type built from wide and slim humanist, geometric letterforms, consistent diagonals, a contemporary single line weight and square terminals – similar to 19th century London transport signage achieving a sense pure information and communication which resonates well with theatrical expression – contained within a blackboard reminiscent of classic illuminated theatre and cinema hoardings. The result delivers conceptual and expanding richness with subtle modernistic sensibilities through smart observation and a visually straightforward combination of letter-forms.
Based on the ‘matrix of intersecting, wireframe boxes’ that surround the theatre’s architectural structure, the original identity drew on the ‘heritage of theatre, while alluding to the contemporary nature of the performances’ with a proprietary typeface that mixes slim and broad, humanist, and geometric characters with sharp junctions and terminals, stencil cut detail, dual lines and a fluorescent tube finish. This has now been expanded on under the theme of ‘new light’ with a direction that allows the typography to play an integral role in illuminating theatrical scenes through some really well shot scenes executed across the collaterals. The result is a clear juxtaposition of light and shade that delivers a strong sense of space and dramatic performance.
Established in 1948 and performing on roughly 200 stages, Riksteatret is the national touring theatre of Norway currently directed by actress and politician Ellen Horn. This month sees the launch of Riksteatret’s new visual identity created by multidisciplinary design consultancy Bleed. Based around the concept of a poster and executed as a smart expanding and contracting visual device, the identity creates an interesting border for the theatre’s posters, programmes and stationery with a modernistic egalitarian sense of inclusivity.