Next Step: Graphic Design!
Graphic design is key for a new theatre company. Graphic design can be used to create an image and look that immediately makes one think of Orphic and the work we do, and allows us to work on and maintain an aesthetic that is in line with the creative style of the company. Many groups and organizations use design elements to create images and layouts that are not only eye-catching and gorgeous, but that also draw the viewer’s mind to a certain subject. Think of the iconic Broadway playbills, or the simple Nike swoop, both of which are immediately identifiable with no context. Matt Groening said when drawing The Simpsons that he wanted each character to be designed so their silhouettes were instantly recognizable. Orphic would benefit greatly from a unified aesthetic that clearly belongs to the company and conjures images of the work we do.
Step one is figuring out what that design is. Orphic is an eclectic mixture of new and old; old, revered, grandiose greek tragedy and new, fast-paced, humorous original work. How do we combine these two ideas to create a look that is as unique and intriguing as the theatre itself?
Above you’ll see two quick mock-ups done. The top one leans more towards reverent and solemn, perhaps playing more to the greek tragedy aspect, whereas the bottom image has more of a pop, suggesting a more modern and youthful image. Both ideas have benefits and setbacks, and these two images are simply to give an idea of the multitude of options there are in relation to designing a winning aesthetic. How color, texture, images, text, and layout interact all decide how our graphic design elements are interpreted.
The next step is figuring out how we want to use graphic design. How pervasive is design in the things we do? Programs are an obvious big one, but do we have a standard “Orphic” template that each show fits into? Is each program completely different but with similar design ideas? Do we design a watermark that marks our work as our own, and if so what does that look like? Do we have a standard font we use for posters? Do we keep a strong, concise color scheme? Do we design the website and blog so it is in line with other aspects of our graphic design, and if so how do we translate our signature look across mediums (poster, program, website, email, etc.)? This is a lot of questions but each one’s answer will help us establish a clear and strong look for the company.
My core question here is this: What are we trying to convey with Orphic, and how does graphic design further that goal? It’s a big question, and one that I look forward to exploring in the coming weeks.