Work

Harris Theater

Inviting New Audiences to Imagine the Extraordinary

The Harris Theater has that lethal trifecta of youth, beauty and ambition. Just over a decade old, the Theater has already hosted some of the world's finest music ensembles and dance companies, from the Scottish Ballet to the Kronos Quartet. Not only does Harris supports small and emerging arts organizations, it welcomes younger audiences to a lifetime of artistic appreciation through innovative and accessible community programs. The challenge: most locals thought of the theater as, quite simply, a space. How could we broaden hearts and minds the world over to reshape perception of the Harris Theater as a mission-driven organization dedicated to creating transformative experiences through art? 

With the 2015-2016 season lining up to be one of the most exciting to date, the timing was ripe for telling a new story. One that might inspire people to buy tickets, sure, but more critically—to become supporters for years to come. We worked with Harris on a new evolution of an existing capital campaign, titled "Imagine," taking it one step further and inviting art lovers old and new to Imagine the Extraordinary. 

Industry:

Harris Theater Animated Logo

Harris Theater Poster

Harris Theater Program Detail

I.

Campaign Design

We visited the subterranean theater (essentially a grown 'n sexy version of your high school's improbably versatile black box, but with world-class acoustics and a lot more seating) and even attended a few performances to get the full experience. Though each ensemble brings its own magic to the stage, every performance hums with a thrilling, intimate sense of discovery.

These qualities shaped every aspect of our design. The palette, anchored by a rich red-orange and deep black, ramps up the drama while transparent forms and color-saturated shapes frame stunning photographs of real Harris performers, revealing and inviting viewers into moments of movement, rhythm and beauty.

We designed massive posters and street banners lining downtown Chicago, CTA advertisements and taxi toppers, season programs and promotional postcards. Nearly every piece is unique in composition. At times, letterforms are scattered across the canvas in structured chaos; elsewhere words remain neatly composed but shifting in color or placement, a testament to the Theater's triumphant resistance to the status quo and celebration of all things extraordinary.

Harris Theater Interior Signage

Harris Theater Poster

Harris Theater Program Detail

Harris Theater Program Detail

Harris Theater Program Detail

Harris Theater Postcards

Harris Theater Postcards

Harris Theater Postcards

Harris Theater Street Light Banner

Harris Theater Street Light Banner

Harris Theater Street Light Banner

Harris Theater Street Light Banner

Harris Theater CTA Bus Decal

Harris Theater Taxi Signage