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Atlantic Theater 2019 – ’20 Season by Pentagram

Opinion by Richard Baird

Campaign identity and programme by Paul Scher, Pentagram, for the Atlantic Theater's 2019–20 season

Atlantic Theater Company was founded in 1985 by playwright David Mamet and actor William H. Macy and, since then, has established itself as an influential Off-Broadway theatre group. It is also known for having a bold and original voice, producing groundbreaking new works by both emerging and established playwrights. This bold and original voice was central to the design of the theatre’s visual identity back in 2015. The first iteration was a visually loud mix of Hoefler&Co’s Tungsten, red and blue ink, an iconic spotlight/ megaphone-like A, a postmodern freedom from formal grids and the overprinting of type and shape. Designed by Pentagram partner Paula Scher, and reconfigured between seasons, this has been a striking and recognisable foundation of the theatre’s communications. Having designed the campaign identities for 2017–18 and 2018–19 Paula Scher returns to design the campaign for the 2019–20 season, introducing photography for the first time and a new material component.

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New Victory Theatre by Pentagram

Opinion by Richard Baird

Brand identity for New Victory Theatre by Pentagram

The New Victory Theatre, located on New York’s 42nd Street, is described as the city’s first and only not for profit performing arts venue for kids and families. It has a programme that covers a multitude of artistic disciplines and draws on traditions from a variety of cultures. Alongside performances and family workshops the theatre also seeks to offer performing arts education and engagement, new work development and furthers paid youth employment and training.

Pentagram partner Paula Scher and team worked to develop a visual identity for the theatre and collaborated with architecture firm H3 to conceive and implement a lobby space that would better engage with theatre visitors. A ribbon motif becomes the foundation of a bright and celebratory visual language. This is expanded upon spatially and materially across signage and a 51-foot-long centrepiece mural made of felt.

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Shakespeare In The Park 2019 by Pentagram

Opinion by Richard Baird

Posters, flyers, signage, t-shirts and newspaper advertising by Pentagram's Paula Scher for The Public Theatre's Shakespeare in the Park 2018

Shakespeare In The Park is an annual event and duo of free performances presented by New York’s The Public that takes place at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park in May and June. 2019 saw performances of Much Ado About Nothing and Coriolanus under the theme “Rumours and Rebels”.

The event was promoted through a city-wide campaign developed by Pentagram’s Paula Scher and team, with assets such as signage being designed and deployed by The Public’s in-house team. This furthers the enduring and evolving identity Paula Scher designed for the theatre in 1994, revised 2005 and again in 2008.

There remains a continuity in the impact, immediacy and dynamic qualities of previous campaigns whilst working in a new colour palette of red, blue and yellow, and an angled approach to type. This links signage, static and dynamic posters and billboards, t-shirts and newspaper advertising. The work done for the event will go on to form the basis of communications for The Public’s 2019–2020 season.

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