YEAR OF CHICAGO THEATRE
Branding + Identity
Every year, City of Chicago launches its new year with “Year of—” campaign that highlights one of its many cultural pillars. 2019 “Year of—” is dedicated to history enriched theatre community. To best celebrate and announce this year’s theme, we’ve partnered with the city of Chicago to create a mark that expanded into an identity that can best celebrate Chicago theatre’s boldness.
Tagline: “This is where the city bares its fearless soul”
City of Chicago
Chicago has over 200 theaters, and many forms of theater. In this city of light, there’s comedy club to improv shows - big productions like Steppenwolf to small writing group that started just yesterday. Each of these varying institutions and communities that define and fuel Chicago’s theatre life has unique typographic marks that serve each to its own. Comedy’s bold and funkiness to children’s theatre’s playful mark truly shows how much Chicago’s theatre scene identifies with typography for self expression.
With this in mind, I wanted to highlight typography the way Chicago theatre groups embrace it. This led to choosing six different typefaces that mimics the voice of genre, personality, size, and history of Chicago’s visceral theatre scene. I wanted to embrace and showcase the individuality and drama each theatre brings, but the overall mark had to be visually punctual just like a good laugh after a great comedy. Using all six typefaces at once was too chaotic, and using just one out of the six felt too limiting.
Solution presented itself when I saw the interchangeable letters used for announcements on historic theater buildings. By using Baton as a grounding mark, other more ornate fonts like El Greco and SanMarco are amplified through Baton’s height.