(Est. 1955) “Houston Ballet is America’s fifth largest ballet company, an ensemble of 57 dancers with an annual budget of $28.5 million and an endowment of just over $69 million (as of September 2015). Stanton Welch serves as artistic director of Houston Ballet. Houston Ballet has toured extensively both nationally and internationally.”
Pentagram (Partner: DJ Stout, Austin, TX)
The new mark appears to revolve in a circular pattern going from fast to faster and bolder to lighter as it moves from left to right. This kinetic motion gives the visual impression of a dynamic set of spinning wheels (or flapping wings) gaining speed and power as they roll across the page. A cap letter “H,” for Houston, is revealed in the negative space.
In addition, the Pentagram team developed a system that uses segments of the logo’s radiating wheels as graphic devices in ads, banners, print collateral and other applications of the new identity. In that way the mark functions as an identifier across the spectrum of promotional materials and becomes an additional branding tool for the ballet.
The old logo could have said "Houston Steakhouse" and it wouldn't have made a difference, it was fairly generic and barely memorable. The new logo has a beautiful new icon with great implied motion by the fanning circles. The change from bold to thin in the lines is a great way to add dynamism to the mark and the revealing of the "H" in the counterspace is perfectly realized. The wordmark is nice too, and a welcome change of pace from the geometric sans serif trend. The "a" reminds too much of Interstate, so I keep seeing this as a transportation-industry wordmark. The muted purple is unexpected but it works to soften the logo. In application the same shapes of the logo get blown up in the backgrounds and they lose the finesse they have when used small. The single-color and stroked version are particularly less successful as they have an old-school vibe (of not the good kind). Overall, a great logo update and a pleasant set of ads that can evolve over time to be less heavy-handed on those backgrounds.