Designer: Paul Clark and Tim Kliendienst - Alphabet Studio
Location: Sydney, Australia
Award: Professional Notable
A rebranding of Sydney's Belvoir St Theatre to coincide with the launch, in September 2010, of their 2011 season. Art direction of the full campaign: season book, street posters, postcard series, venue signage, subscriber cards, bookmarks, etc.
The biggest problem to solve was to rework a brand that we had built ourselves. The client had a strong commitment to a brand that was unique to them, potent and highly recognisable amongst the Sydney theatre community for the past 10 years. When theatre and film director, Neil Armfield, stepped down from his long and acclaimed position of Artistic Director, Alphabet Studio were invited to pitch against other agencies to continue the contract and to reinvent, refresh and re-articulate the theatre under the realm of a new director. The challenge was to maintain integrity to the product we had worked on for 10 years whilst crafting a look reflective of the direction and vision of the newly appointed Artistic Director. It was exciting in that it really forced us to pull apart existing methodologies and visual process ingrained in the existing and very successful brand. A huge and difficult undertaking—it required an objective and critical analysis of our own work. We had to start from scratch.
Core77: How did you learn that you had been recognized by the jury?
Slept through the alarm (the announcement was at 1am here in Sydney), so we checked in at 7am to see the news and video on the awards site that we had received a Notable.
What's the latest news or development with your project?
The chair/gumboot/horse logo has been hugely successful. Belvoir ran a naming competition on Facebook for their mascot receiving entries such as "Troy" and "Klop." We are currently developing the next series of images for Belvoir's 2012 season book.
Also, watch the video we directed that has been used to promote the most recent production at the theatre, Neighbourhood Watch.
We intend to develop a series of online videos for Belvoir that continue to build on ideas of illusion within theatre, the power of suggestion, and the willingness of the audience to participate in the act of make-believe.
Share an anecdote about the development of your project.
The artistic director of Belvoir had orginally expressed the idea that, unlike in the cinema, the audience is a creative participant in theatre's storytelling process, so that, for example, a chair can be a horse because the audience will use their imagination to see it as one. For so long in the development of this project we kept looking for visuals that encapsulated this idea. Photographs of people wearing a paper bag for a hat, and so on. Then one day we thought, what if we just had a graphic of a chair as a horse for the logo?
Read on for full details on the project and jury comments.