This fall the Public Theater opened a major revitalization of its New York home that transformed its lobby into a public piazza and gathering space. The renovation marked an opportunity for the theater to reinvigorate its messaging; Pentagram designed a bold institutional campaign that launched with a full-page ad in a Sunday edition of the New York Times celebrating its status as a theater “for the public.”

Pentagram partner Paula Scher has designed the graphics for the Public since 1994, including a refresh of the identity in 2008. The posters and ads of the
2012–2013 campaign appear in a palette of white, red and black (the colors of the first institutional campaign in 1994), with the phrase “(The) Public Open” placed prominently in the bold typography of the identity. The design plays off the tagline with extensive white space and dramatically cropped photography of the performers. This season’s posters will be installed in new poster boxes at the entrance to the building.

A diverse cultural institution, the Public is the only theater that produces Shakespeare and the classics, musicals, contemporary and works with social relevance that also provide uplifting entertainment. The Public Theater is housed in the former Astor Library, a 158-year-old landmark on Lafayette Street in New York’s East Village. The new $ 40 million renovation is the first upgrade since the Public opened in the building in 1967. Designed by Ennead Architects, it features a redesigned entry, an expanded lobby, a centralized box office and a restoration of the façade that incorporates a canopy and pushes the building’s steps back onto the sidewalk.

Communication Arts

// From our friends at Communication Arts

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