Ipswich Theatres

Ipswich Theatres

Brand Identity, Brand Strategy, Digital Design
          The Ipswich City Council approached us to help them reposition their two venues, the Regent Theatre and the Corn Exchange as exciting and relevant arts venues in the local area.
          We started to define key differences in each venue. The buildings and their history were notably different but also they hosted unique audiences and shows.
          These arising differences were something we wanted to celebrate and draw on in their brand identities.
          Our team put together three concepts, of which the above logos designs were selected. Whilst we all worked together and work swapped I spent most of my time on the below concept.
          For this concept the change and additions each building had seen over time was something that inspired both of the logos. The multi purpose nature and adaptability of each space over the years was drawn on through the treatment of the type. It grows, adapts and intertwines with each word.
          The Regent underwent three name changes, each time leaving layers and reminiscence of the former name on the facade of the theatre. I referenced this in the layering of Regent and Theatre over top of each other as the E and T evolve and link together. The logo further inspired by its iconic history of shows with the block backgrounds behind it, a treatment that featured often in its gig posters of the 60's which headlined acts like the Beatles. 
          Historically, the Corn Exchange was a moving, vibrant and noisy market place, eventually ending up in the purpose built building. With glass panels in the walls and roof, the room filled with light creating a dynamic, energetic space. This light, sound, movement and energy is reverberating out of the exchange in the logo whilst the C and N grow and mould into each word, again coming back to the multi purpose natures of the venue.
          The decision came down to the current positioning of the venues. The above concept spoke to where the theatres saw themselves being, as entertainment providers, in five years time but believed it was too much of a push on from where they are currently positioned.
          In the below chosen concept the Regent Theatre logo takes the initial letter of the theatre – like that at the beginning of a storybook or newspaper article – to make a big, impactful stamp. The diagonal lines in the R show synergy with the sister venue, the Corn Exchange, and enhance the idea of overlap, sound and diversity. They also echo the Art Deco features of parallel lines that appear, often in the Regent Theatre interior.
          The inspiration for the Corn Exchange logo came from the original organ pipes that sit on the wall in the venue. The linear forms of the pipes create an equaliser, full of movement and a representation of sound – a feature of all of the entertainment the venue offers. It also represents the idea of people connecting with the rich heritage and programming of the venue.
          After the identity was chosen, I led the digital design process in translating this newly established look and feel into a functioning website. The biggest problem area being, how do we clearly market and present two venues, each offering a variety of shows, to a different audience. The home page hero slider became a core way of quickly being able to communicate this, with each venue taking up a side of the page and the direction buttons presented users with the biggest upcoming event at that venue.
          A modular grid system was created to make the site image led and I designed an angular colourful page transition to generate movement and excitement. The headline font of the site merges the two main typefaces from the brand, further referencing the meeting of two venues whilst also creating a dynamic visual feel that speaks to the nature of theatre.
          Site due to go live at the end of March.

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