Shadowland Stages
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CASE STUDY

Client:

Shadowland Stages is an art-deco theater in New York showing contemporary productions of plays and musicals.

Objective:

The goal of the campaign was to increase online ticket sales and foot traffic to the venue. Shadowland approached Harrison Oak to create new branding & materials for their 2018 season, for use on a new website, inside the theater, and in printed advertisements across New York state.

KEY DESIGN ROLES:

BRANDING-icon
Branding
WEB
Website + E-Commerce
PRINT-icon
Print Design

STEP 1: A Bold New Brand

A bold theatre deserves a bold design.

 

As an almost century old institution, Shadowland Theatre’s branding (and building) had gone through numerous iterations over the decades. Shadowland Stages was looking for a contemporary, updated approach that still gave a reverent nod to the theatre’s past.

So we created a brand fit for center stage.

A DRAMATIC CHANGE:

The art-deco inspired ‘S’ design recalls Shadowland’s previous logo, but transformed into an iconic and memorable representation of the theatre’s past and future.

 

The arches of the ‘S’ are reminiscent of a curtain falling, or of the stage itself, and they shift between black, white, and gold. A refined, theatrical color scheme was developed to match the interior design of the theater – deep purple and gold are used  to inspire the brand materials.

FUTURE PROOF:

Shadowland needed a brand with all the bells and whistles — beyond just a logo.

 

Harrison created a full realized brand, including background motifs, color schemes, font combinations, logo orientations, and custom icons.  With the future in mind, he created a multipage branding guideline booklet, ensuring the lasting value and consistency of the brand for years to come.

STEP 2: Show Poster Artwork

A killer lineup of John Cleese, Sean Astin, and Molly Smith Metzler. With such monumental talent gracing the stages and pages of Shadowland, the 2018 season needed visual representation worthy of the stars. Harrison designed a set of 7 custom poster illustrations, one for each show. Since the artwork needed to be displayed in various iterations (from posters and brochures, and icons to advertisements), different orientations of each poster were created to ensure optimum display in each format.

The seven show posters were illustrated with original graphics. The individual pieces are distinct in style yet share a common motif, inspired by groovy design of the 1960s and 70s. The posters illuminate each show with a distinct color profile and voice that reflects the genre (comedy, drama) of the play.

Bang Bang! by John Cleese

Shadowland’s featured production was the American premiere of Bang Bang! by John Cleese (of Monty Python fame), and starring Sean Astin (Samwise, from Lord of the Rings).

The play is centered around French lovers who are cheating on one another in the same hotel. For this artwork, we developed a cutout style of illustration reminiscent of Monty Python’s signature mid-century animations. A discarded pants, shirt, and socks strewn about the room conveys the sauciness of the play. The design was inspired by a combination of Victorian and earthy 70’s vibes, coupled with a bold, declarative text — bang!

STEP 3: A Website Showcase

Behind the scenes: a website to showcase the current season.

 

Shadowland’s team desired a website that was simple, minimal, and mobile friendly. With those principles in mind, Harrison Oak designed & developed a custom WordPress theme to bring Shadowland’s dramatic productions to the web, and modernize their 10 year old web presence. The design was created as a straightforward, colorful framework to display Shadowland’s current offerings, both onstage and off.

An Online Box Office

Out with the Old, In with the New

 

Shadowland’s existing web presence was many years old, and looked the part. Poor design, confusing navigation, and outdated information made the website difficult to navigate and confusing for their users. Due past over-complication, Harrison approached the new website with the minimalism sought by Shadowland Stages’ team.

Clean, Modern Web Design: Custom WordPress

 

The goal was absolute simplicity. To achieve this, a custom WordPress theme along a grid brought only the most important information to the forefront. Harrison designed two orientations of show posters to best display them in different contexts on the web. Ticketing took a front seat, while information about the theatre was condensed and organized into neat menus. Visually, he added pops of color in Shadowland’s signature brand, taking inspiration from box offices around the world.

E-Commerce Integration

 

Primarily, the goal was to get the public through the doors of the Theatre by providing and easy, streamlined way to purchase tickets. The website is an e-commerce ticketing platform, which allowing patrons to buy entry into any show. The website offers the convenience of seat selection — so both the playgoers and Shadowland’s team know which seats are filled.

STEP 4: Print Advertisements

Printing the perfect brochure & show posters.

 

Now that the theatre’s presence was established online, it was time to create printed advertisements to showcase the exciting new material premiering in the 2018 season. To do this, Harrison Oak created a twelve page print booklet/playbill, designed to celebrate both the individuality and cohesiveness of the season lineup, as well as a series of print advertisements and physical posters.

Lights, Camera, Ads!

 

To set the stage, Harrison Oak created a multi-faceted print advertisement campaign to be displayed across various physical mediums. The designs included:

  • Print Ad: to be displayed in magazines and newspapers across New York State, advertising the season’s schedule and upcoming showcases.
  • Show Posters: a series of 5-foot tall posters to adorn the theatre’s space and draw in patrons for new and future showings.
  • 12 Page Brochure: a colorful, cohesive, and dramatic print document to accompany performance and be distributed locally.

The print brochure and playbill was meticulously created on a custom template, drawing upon years of print expertise.

RESULTS:

◘ The theatre experienced a 24% increase in online ticket sales
◘ Bang Bang! American premiere sold out
◘ Drove community engagement to secure $5,000 in grant funding.

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