(Est. 1758) “Norwich Theatre is among the UK’s leading performing arts organisations and the largest arts organisation in the East of England. Made up of three venues - Theatre Royal, Playhouse and Stage Two all situated in the heart of the historic city of Norwich - Norwich Theatre welcomes around 450,000 visitors across its venues every year. As a registered charity, Norwich Theatre is committed to make the arts accessible to the broadest range of people through a wide-ranging and diverse artistic programme and an extensive programme of Learning & Participation work.”
Rose (London, UK)
Award-winning London design consultancy Rose has created a new, unifying brand identity for Norwich Theatre Royal, Norwich Playhouse and Norwich Theatre Stage Two. The three venues, which have formally been part of the same group for many years, are now under the umbrella name of Norwich Theatre and will be brought together within the brand identity and website.
Rose reviewed the brand architecture to emphasise the family relationship across the three venues. The name Norwich Theatre represents the family name; the venue names represent their individual personalities. With this in mind, Rose created a marque using three concentric N’s, to act as a family crest for the three theatres. Rose typeset the logos in the same family font and advised on renaming Stage Two to become Norwich Theatre Stage Two, so the family name is consistently represented within each venue.
Helping to establish further recognition across the brand, Rose developed details of the shapes created within the marque itself into bespoke patterns. To echo the three venues within the family, only three sections of the ‘N’ marque are shown at any one time. And, through the use of a vibrant secondary colour palette, the patterns help to deliver the bold, dynamic and distinctive visual identity Norwich Theatre were seeking.
Rose provided text
Images (opinion after)
The old logos were relatively fine… Norwich Royal Theatre was on the bland side but it looked cultured; Stage Two was busy but it looked alternative-ish; and Norwich Playhouse… yeah, Norwich Playhouse was having its own moment. When they were created, I’m sure it made sense for each of them to have their own identity but seeing them come together under one brand architecture is a lot more pleasant, especially under the triple-“N” monogram that works well conceptually by including the initial three times, one for each venue, but also visually as it’s, simply, a really nice monogram that has been very well resolved as the letter changes thicknesses. The wordmarks are fine although I’m not convinced the typeface chosen, Neue Plak Extended, is entirely right. The “r” is somehow too distracting with a very noticeable round element that doesn’t pay off (or even play off) the monogram or in application. I like where they were going, trying to introduce something more playful but maybe the playfulness should have come in a different way. The applications are simple and effective with the hollow monogram interacting with the photography, whether it’s used small or large. I’m not sure about the giant, colorful crops of the monogram in the business cards but I don’t think they are wrong. Overall, a nice institutionalization of the three venues into a grown-up and functional identity.