Every so often Jonas Beuchert drops us an e-mail about a new book he’s got coming out via his publishers, Edition Taube. Sometimes these books are oblongs made of multiple pages, or the documentation of an artist travelling to iconic scenes just to paint the pattern on his own shirt. But, when Edition Taube isn’t publishing these books that delve intro artistic verticals and presenting them like no other, it’s a design studio, run by the same folk, called Parat.cc.
A recent project Parat.cc have been working on is an identity for Munich’s oldest youth theatre, Schauburg. Tackling a new identity to welcome a new artistic director and team change at the theatre — the first in 30 years — Jonas and team had the task of representing the new director’s “radical approach of taking even the youngest audiences as serious counterparts,” via graphic design.
The director’s hope for the theatre is to engage its young audience by “involving them in plays that address all issues of growing up and adolescence,” the studio continues. “And they don’t hold back on addressing and reflecting societal and political issues like equality, gender, inclusion/exclusion, as well as the roles everybody plays in society.” To do this, Schauburg have a newly founded Lab to address this in a session, engaging kids to “step on stage themselves to develop all kinds of experimental theatre, musical or dance programmes.”
When Parat.cc were asked to pitch for an entirely new visual identity to represent this youth-focused approach its team noted questions that needed to be answered: “How to get this message delivered to today’s kids? An audience which may have never seen a theatre from inside…” for instance. Picking up on this challenge, the design studio realised that when addressing kids from the age of 2 to 19, “you are not dealing with one target audience but with many audiences,” it explains. “How can you create a visual language that a toddler can relate to and a teenager won’t find silly? How can you meet the kids in a visual realm they find cool and still be able to communicate a serious message?”
The studio has answered these self-posed questions by going bold. Deciding on a colour palette which combines yellow, purple and red, its identity jumps out from the realm of other theatres; it’s not targeting an older generation who would appreciate thespian themed graphics after all. And so, instead, it leans towards emoji references of winking, wobbling smirks on pamphlets and posters to engage any teen or toddler passing by. These faces are also a simple example of visually translating the title of the theatre, which means “look-burg” in English – the reason why each visual “contains both the silhouette of a burg and a pair of eyes.”
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