Responses by Paula Scher, partner, Pentagram
Background: The Public Theater has a broad and diverse audience of New Yorkers who are passionate about theater.
Reasoning: I have been working with the Public Theater on its brand identity and Shakespeare campaigns for the past 25 years. For the past nine years, I have changed the visual look of the Public each season by finding new ways to alter its principal typeface, Knockout. The season campaigns typically start with the live productions of Shakespeare in the Park, linking the Public to one of its most popular programs. Then the full season lineup of plays, events and programs, including the cabaret and Public Theater program Joe’s Pub, are promoted in the same style as the Shakespeare posters.
Challenges: Coming up with a different way to treat Knockout each year.
Favorite details: I like the stenciled type and the rounded corners. I think they are a strong departure from the graphics of the previous season, while still being based on the same font.
Visual influences: Each season campaign is a reaction to the one before. So for the 2020-2021 Season, we looked for new ways to change the spirit and use of Knockout.
Specific demands: The in-house team at the Public extends the system into additional applications as the programming comes together.