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How Graphic Designers Benefit Theatre Companies


Ever since the days of the vintage playbill, theatrical productions have had a long history with advertising. These circulated print ads had a style and aesthetic of their own that reflected the mood and vibe of each production. But just as theatre has evolved, today’s contemporary branding needs are also much more complex. 

Here are some of the reasons why graphic design firms are a wonderful resource to help today’s theatre companies with their branding and promotion.

Flexible Advertising

When you hire a graphic design firm, they should function like an in-house design team. This means that rather than deal with middlemen, communication is very close between you and the design studio’s art director and designers: when you need to get help with your branding campaign they understand the needs or restrictions you face. 

In one example, local design studio Cosmic Design had to promote the new Wizard of Oz musical before the production company had selected an actor to play Dorothy — this meant that they had to create ads that didn’t show the star of the musical’s face! 



Several solutions that were explored to address the problem used images closely associated with the iconic story, like the ruby red slippers and Dorothy’s house spinning in a tornado. The early ads of Dorothy had her facing away from the camera, towards Oz, and when the actor was finally cast the new ads revealed her face. 

These and other challenges can only be surmounted when design studios can be both small enough to work flexibly, nimbly and closely with clients, and large enough to finish major projects on schedule.

Beyond the Print Ad

Professional design studios understand the contemporary branding and promotional needs of theatre companies beyond billboards or newspaper ads, and are capable of handling unconventional print ads. Effective promotion may include print designs on busses, sidewalks, or even pop-up installations taken from elements of the play or musical. 

No contemporary branding campaign for theatre companies can ignore digital needs, which have to be inventive and fresh in an ever-changing landscape. Design studios can create custom posters of the cast, hung in public, with a blank space where passers-by are meant to stand and be photographed. This creates a feel of whimsy and, in a sense, lets the public interact with the actors. But most of all, it is designed to be easily shared on social media. 

Trust a design studio to help your promotions go viral, naturally. If you harness their creative and promotional insights and put it all together on Twitter and Instagram, your musical will reach a public audience even larger than opening night when the seats are packed. 

It’s not uncommon to see an article asking if theatre is dead or dying — whatever the answer, that it’s even a question points to the need for theatre companies to stay relevant, and take steps to promote themselves vigilantly in a modern context. Theatre has been around for thousands of years, but graphic designers can help today’s theatre companies thrive by helping them brand for a modern context.

How Graphic Designers Benefit Theatre Companies Reviewed by Angela on 12:24:00 AM Rating: 5

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