Downstage has a long history for being progressive, edgy and at the vanguard of theatrical arts. After a very public ‘rebooting’ of the structure of the organisation in 2011, they came to us to relaunch the brand and tell the story of the new Downstage. A key goal was to rekindle trust and excitement with existing fans while also reaching out to new audiences across a wide demographic range (students to grand-parents).
We looked at the history of Downstage as a vanguard of theatrical arts for New Zealand and one of the key symbols of that being the building they work from – the Hannah Playhouse. The building was (and still is) a very progressive design for its day, there are no 90 degree angles in the design, everything is at an ‘uncomfortable’ angle. We took this space which shapes ideas, attitudes and performances, and brought it to life in the visual identity and logo mark.
The resulting visual identity was applied across print, web and video and the results as well as the feedback from stakeholders has been extremely positive. Ticket sales for the first two shows have surpassed targets as well as creating some sell-out shows. Previous retails campaigns lacked consistency and cohesiveness, the new brand has created a visual language that will become easily identified as Downstage.