Writer & Designer
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Live Arts 25th Anniversary Season Identity

 

Live Arts

25th Anniversary Season

 
 

Live Arts is a beloved community theater located in downtown Charlottesville, VA. For their 25th anniversary season, Live Arts approached Convoy, to define a season identity for all promotional materials. As a Graphic Designer at Convoy at the time, I worked closely with our Creative Director, Matt, to develop the identity and produce the season materials.

 Production photos and an early post-it note review of Live Arts' first-ever production,  No Exit , in 1990.

Production photos and an early post-it note review of Live Arts' first-ever production, No Exit, in 1990.

We knew that versatility would be critical

The plays for the 25th season ranged from a film noir parody music to an emotional portrayal of Alzheimer's. We needed a system that could work for everything.

And in order to help promote new shows and highlight retrospective content from the past twenty-five years, we wanted something contemporary, but a little bit retro at the same time.

 
 
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We started with a mood board

We pitched a few different directions. Even as we were gathering our ideas, Live Arts were pulling together their own suggestions. When we compared notes, we realized we were thinking along the same lines: Basquiat, brush strokes, free-flowing lines. 

 
 
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We developed a system, and then let things get a little messy

Having worked with Live Arts in the past, we knew that each show poster would require a lot of text, both legally required and out of consideration for production staff and donors, and we wanted to keep the content contained. For the artwork, we settled on an expressive, hand-painted style, and then balanced it with a flexible grid system based around bold strokes and a dozen different weights of the robust Uniform type family.

For a few days, our conference room became a painter's studio: you could wander in and find Matt Thomas splashing red paint blood spatters for Hunter Gatherers, or painting Mae West eyes over and over again to get her lashes just right for Dirty Blonde

 
 
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Collateral ranged from posters to programs to apparel

Once the clients approved the artwork, we took to building out the collateral. Posters, an extra-large retrospective season program, t-shirts, postcards to alert season pass holders of upcoming shows—even refrigerator magnets. Our grid adapted smoothly to all of it. 

The season went up to much local acclaim, and now Live Arts is looking forward to the next twenty-five years. Check out more of Convoy's work for Live Arts over at their website.

 
 
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