Project 2: Design for Identity | Theatre Company Branding

Brief


For this project we had to collaborate with some of the Performing Arts students to produce a distinctive and appropriate visual identity for one of three new theatre companies they created. We had to work independently to produce an identity manual/branding guidelines along with accompanying digital assets.


Client Questions


What is the name of your company?

Open Jar Productions


What is the significance of the name of your company?

It's inspired by the phrase 'an open book'.


Who is your intended audience?

"We perform for people with visable disabilities, changing our shows slightly (using brighter lights for blind people, turning up sound for deaf people, turning down for sensory issues etc), so we tailor our shows to them."


How would you describe your company?

Equality, inclusive, available to everyone, open to all, relatable topics


What is the name of your first production?

Right Path


What is your first production about?

"It's a modern day performance but it will have choices that the audience will choose and the actors are in a freeze frame. This show we are specifically tailoring to autistic people.

The show is ranged from 1930s to 2010s, the audience decides what years we do and we put on a small performance revolved around an event that occurred that year (1930s - Disney became popular, 2000s - Harry Potter etc). We plan to look into different music and forms of dance that was popular during each year and try and show it through our performances."


What deliverables do you need?

General branding (logo etc), posters, instagram page, merchanise


Research


I decided to do some research on designing for ASD, due to the fact that the clients first performance was for that kind of audience and so the poster needed to catch their attention in a positive way.


Information on designing for ASD:

https://uxdesign.cc/why-designs-that-accommodate-the-needs-of-autistic-people-are-better-for-everyone-dc5fb2144b15

https://www.designmantic.com/community/designing-for-autistic.php

https://digitalcommunications.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/2019/07/08/designing-for-users-on-the-autistic-spectrum/ https://accessibility.blog.gov.uk/2016/09/02/dos-and-donts-on-designing-for-accessibility/


Logo Mood Board


I decided to begin with the logo and started doing some research to find some inspiration. I was really drawn to the logos that focused on a simplistic bold typeface and could work as monochromatic and coloured without being too busy.


Logo Sketches


I then began sketching out my initial ideas; I decided that I would focus on creating a monochrome design first and add colour later as I wanted it to be adaptable. I knew I wanted to create something modern and minimalistic so I tried to come up with subtle ways to manipulate the letterforms to form images of jar related shapes. After getting the obvious

ideas out of the way, I realised some of them would be too detailed to be used on a small scale, so I worked more on the idea of making the top of the ‘J’ look like an open lid by tilting it slightly.


Poster Mood Board


I then decided to do some research to find inspiration for the posters as they

were the most important for promoting the companies productions. I wanted to focus on a minimalistic design with plenty of white space so that the posters wouldn’t be too obnoxious for those with any sensitivities. I was particularly inspired by the silhouette illustrations as I liked the contrast.


Poster Sketches


I then did some thumbnail sketches to experiment with different layouts for the posters. The companies first production was called ‘Right Path’ and originally focused on being a modern day performance where the audience would help navigate and choose the direction of the story based on a number of different storylines. It was later changed to be about the struggles of auditioning for shows as a deaf person.

At first I focused too much on the illustration but then shifted my focus more on the layout of the poster so that it could be adaptable to future productions.



Logo Developments


I then started trying to vectorise the logo in Illustrator, experimenting with different bold typefaces and shapes.

I settled on the tilted ‘J’ jar lid idea as my final logo as I thought it was the most effective and felt it looked the most clean and modern out of all my designs.


Poster Developments


I then started putting the poster ideas together in Illustrator; I experimented with photographic layouts and illustrated ones and finally settled on the silhouette of a related image with some texture so it was less flat as I thought this would be easiest to implement onto later productions.


Final Brand Identity Presentation


Here are the final brand identity guidelines, including all the assets and mock ups of how they can be implemented. I ended up creating a monochrome and colour logo, genre icons, and illustration examples for promotional materials.


I decided that the colour scheme was too large so I made the black, white, blue and pink the main colours and then a secondary palette for posters, ect.

I tried to keep the posters as easy for the clients to reproduce as I could and I created a few examples of how the guidelines should be used for some other productions and well. My main focus was more on layout then the illustrations themselves as the clients weren’t completely set on the storyline.



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