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. They support small and emerging arts organizations and introduce younger audiences to the arts through innovative and accessible community programs.
Their 2015-2016 season lineup was one of the most exciting to date and presented a ripe opportunity for capturing the hearts and minds of a broader audience, people who would not only buy tickets for a single performance but support the Theater and its inclusive mission for years to come.
With our eyes on that audience, we designed the season campaign as an evolution of their existing capital campaign, titled "Imagine," taking it one step further and inviting art lovers old and new to Imagine the Extraordinary.
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 designs. 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.