King Kong’s Three Posters

Here at Feast we specialise in design for clients in the Arts and Theatre sector and we’ve certainly created a few production posters over the years! But we are also avid theatregoers and love being enticed by production artwork created by other studios in the industry. It’s great to see such a variety of images being created and we get just as excited for a production announcement whether we’ve been involved in the process or not. So when Broadway’s King Kong Musical announced that they had decided to market using three images we were excited to hear how this came about.

 

Theatre campaigns typically use a single image to market a production which, more often than not, develops during the run. This is usually required when the production has been cast and their photos need to feature, or following press night and review quotes need to be included. The key artwork remains relatively the same to keep brand consistency with any artwork being produced, which helps to avoid confusion. It’s a bold choice deciding to use three images, particularly with different title treatments: will it weaken or strengthen the campaign?

 

Despite the three title treatments, there has been consideration in making sure the images are unified by using the same muted colour palette for all, the icon of Kong at the bottom of each poster and the subjects always being Ann and Kong. However, we wonder whether this is enough for the public to gather that the images are marketing the same production?

 

It’s an unusual approach and we’re interested to see how the campaign develops during the course of the run. Also, whether one of the three images emerge as the stronger, more successful marketing device in enticing an audience or whether using all three in tandem helps target and introduce a wider diversity of audience members.

 

Read more of the process behind King Kong’s posters.

 

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Top Tips: Escalator Panel

Situated either side of escalators at high points of public traffic, such as rail stations, shopping centres and airports, these panels provide a great opportunity to be viewed by masses of people. Traditionally these have been printed posters, but at some sites digital screens have now replaced these, which provide the option to animate the artwork. Passers-by are travelling and unable to stop to take in large amounts of information so the design of the artwork needs to capture their attention quickly and effectively. Follow these top tips to maximise the best engagement.

 

1. Concise Copy

It’s vital the copy is concise so that it is easily readable in a short amount of time. If it’s too long then there’s a high chance that it won’t be read in time. This can also occur if the copy is overly complicated so it’s important that it is clear and understandable to be most effective. The copy should be placed in order of importance and grouped into chunks to make it easier to digest.

 

2. Lead Heading

Naturally you read from the top so the key message, usually a quote or a call to action, should be placed prominently at the top of the artwork to catch the public’s attention and lead them into the campaign being advertised. This is best designed as a concise, stand-out heading: remember a shorter header is much easier to memorise! Try to use a typeface that is interesting but readable and of course relates to the show’s identity.

 

3. Prominent Use of Campaign Image

A strong visual shouldn’t be overlooked and can be a powerful tool in engaging your audience. The campaign key art or related imagery should be prominent with strategic copy positioned so that it doesn’t become cluttered and allows the image to breathe. The most effective posters are ones that follow the phrase ‘less is more’.

 

NOTE: Escalator panels have a fairly fast turnaround and are often used to highlight seasonal campaigns. It is common practice to include additional elements – be it a Christmas/Easter/Holiday message/graphic ­– so be creative in how you can utilise this within your campaign artwork.

 

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Regent’s Park Theatre 2018 Season Artwork

 

The warmer days and lighter nights are approaching… albeit slowly! But this does mean we’re edging closer to the opening of the Regent's Park Theatre 2018 season and there simply isn’t much that can rival watching a show in the beautiful surroundings of Regent’s Park on a glorious summer's day.

 

Over the last couple of months, we have been working on creating the show imagery for each of the productions in the upcoming season. This season certainly has something for everyone; beginning with the welcome return of Peter Pan, followed by a co-production of The Turn of the Screw with English National Opera, Shakespeare’s As You Like It and closing, of course, with a musical: Little Shop of Horrors.

 

Peter Pan

 

The important balance for the Peter Pan image was to convey that the production is for all ages: families and adults, and also that it was a play and not a pantomime. The decision was made to manipulate a production shot from its original run in 2016 that focused on Peter flying.

 

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The Turn of the Screw

 

Following a meeting with director Timothy Sheader and production designer Soutra Gilmour, where the vision of the production was discussed to develop a brief, we began sketching ideas which focused on a lone figure in an expansive landscape. It was decided that a photoshoot was the best method to create the image and on 25 January we were blessed with dry weather at the chosen location, Dunwich Heath and Beach in Suffolk.

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As You Like It

 

The image for As You Like It needed to be contemporary, joyful and evoke a sense of freedom. This led to the idea of a playful figure dancing wildly with coloured smoke/powder against a forest background. Regent’s Park provided the perfect location!

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Little Shop of Horrors

 

Regent's Park Theatre's brief for Little Shop of Horrors was that it needed to feel subversive and anarchic to represent the chaos Audrey II brings. This was achieved through a photographic route where we shot a drag artist in our Photographic Studio (did you see the Sneak Peak!).

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Photographic Studio Sneak Peak!

 

At the start of 2018, the new photographic studio at Feast was launched. The studio comes fully kitted out, ready to deliver cutting-edge photo-led concepts and campaigns. Along with a kitchen, make-up area and meeting space, the area is also available to hire for not only shoots, but also for auditions, exhibitions, meetings etc.

 

Today we had an exciting shoot for Open Air Theatre for an upcoming production. Here’s a sneak peak of the psychedelic set-up; keep your eyes peeled for the image!

 

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WhatsOnStage Awards, Best Show Poster: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

 

The Brief

 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is an original new story from J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany which premièred on the West End stage in Summer 2016. It has become an iconic event in the history of Harry Potter and not only does it provide an entertaining and emotional new story, with the same power and resonance a new book would have, but it is also the first time Harry Potter has entered the medium of theatre. The objective was to create an iconic piece of artwork that fits into the history of Harry Potter, which will be used across all promotional and marketing activity, and yet is distinct and highly original for fans and the wider theatre audience. The artwork needed to embody themes of the play, including abandonment, the archetypal story of a child lost in the world trying to find their way, fathers and sons and the power of love, family and friendship.

 

The Creative Idea

 

We believed the artwork should be original, symbolic and unexpected to resonate with Potter fans without relying on the distinctive recognisable elements of the Harry Potter world – no jagged lightning bolts, glasses or broomsticks. The photographic image of the ‘cursed child’ in the nest metaphorically reflects the themes of loss and abandonment, and the contrasting illustrative style of the wings adds a sense of magic and adventure, whilst giving the poster a powerful ‘Potteresque’ feel, reminiscent of the iconic golden snitch.

 

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Regent’s Park Theatre Brand Refresh

 

In preparation for the 2018 season, Regent's Park Theatre decided it was time for a brand refresh to coincide with their season announcement. This consisted of developing their existing logo, experimenting with different textures and a potential change of font for the show titles/headers. Alongside this we were also tasked with developing a new colour palette whilst retaining the essence of their current branding. The refreshed brand will be rolled out for all the season’s marketing materials, beginning with a new style of season poster.

 

Show Titles, Logo and Colour Palette

 

We initially presented a selection of new title treatments experimenting with various treatments, textures and fonts. The new font that was favoured is based on DCC ASH – set in caps but with a larger initial capital – outlined and solidified and then filled with a newly created rolled ink texture. This gave a nod to their original woodgrain texture whilst giving a fresher look throughout their advertising and marketing materials. At the same time we looked at updating their colour palette with a sympathetic choice of brighter, warmer colours that gives more choice for usage across the main shows and MOREOutdoor events.

 

Once the newly created titles had been given the ok we then looked to freshen their existing logo with the newly created ink texture. In addition, we can also utilise the texture inside other graphic devices and infographics.

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Season Poster

 

In previous years the production titles have been the focus on the season poster, but moving forward Open Air Theatre wanted the auditorium experience to be the hero and the production titles to play a secondary role. This required a shift in the layout with the production titles becoming smaller and moving to the bottom half of the poster. This allows the venue image to be the focal point on the poster. We were also able to push the vibrancy of the image to really echo the stunning effects of scenery and location that are part of the Open Air experience.

 

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Top Tips: HTML Email

 

A bespoke HTML email gives the ability to customise formatting, colours and layout to make an email visually more interesting than a plain text email. By using this approach, there is a higher chance a recipient will be enticed to engage with the content and therefore, is one of the top tools still widely used in marketing campaigns. However, there are certain rules to abide by when designing and building an HTML email, as most mailing systems have different setups when it comes to sending and receiving emails. These will affect how an HTML email is displayed on different email clients. Follow these top tips to maximise the best engagement.

 

1. Call to Action
Call to action (CTA) should be placed at the start of an email as the majority of recipients will likely only view the top portion of an email. By placing CTAs at the start, this increases the chances of engaging the recipient into reading the remainder of the email and/or acting upon it.

 

2. HTML Text and Imagery
Important content is best designed as HTML text, as a large majority of mailing systems will block images, unless subscribers have opted in to allow them. Imagery can also take time to download so without vital information as HTML text it’s likely that recipients will move on from the email.

 

3. Clear Messaging
The best way to convey your message is to be clear and concise. This can be achieved by good use of branding and headings to give detail on who’s sending the email and what it is about. There shouldn’t be too many messages or topics covered in the email to avoid confusion or dilution of the key message.

Shakespeare’s Globe New Identity

 

Summer isn’t complete without a trip to Shakespeare’s Globe and the Mark Rylance casting has definitely sold Othello to us! This year, with Michelle Terry taking over as Artistic Director, the announcement was accompanied by the revealment of their new identity for the theatre. We were particularly excited to hear the inspiration and process behind their new logo and season artwork.

 

From the 20-sided ‘O’ brandmark – literally carved from the wood used to rebuild the Globe and hand printed by a London printmaker – to the strong, simple colour palette of red, white and black derived from early printing processes, all aspects have been carefully thought through. Typographical grid layouts have been inspired by the earliest collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays and the new typeface Effra is an updated version of Caslon Junior created in 1816.

 

It is pleasing to see such careful thought and experimentation produce such a strong, effective brand without making it over fussy. It has energy, creativity and a strong modern feel which creates a nice juxtaposition with the history that forms its backbone. The ‘logo has no fixed place, but interacts with images’, which results in a refreshing use of a venue logo within the production artwork. It conveys that the venue is integral and an intrinsic part of their productions. We like.

 

It’s an exciting new brand and we can’t wait to see how it develops over the seasons and we look forward to seeing Michelle Terry’s first season at the helm of an iconic theatrical venue.

 

Read more of the process behind the Globe’s new identity.

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