Double Standards has created a typography-led identity for the theatre company Berliner Ensemble inspired by the playwright Bertolt Brecht. The German radical, who performed at the theatre in 1954, shocked the arts scene when he emerged in the 1930s by depicting the everyday life of working class people on stage and by using theatre to discuss larger societal issues rather than individual tragedy. Berlin studio Double Standards aimed to echo Brecht’s bold approach by referencing the visual language of the everyday. “We wanted it to feel almost like a supermarket display, like an newspaper with a bold headline,” says Double Standards founder Chris Rehberger.
The new identity, which includes a logo, posters, print publications and stationery, coincides with the appointment of the company’s new director Oliver Reese, a former client of Double Standards while director at the theatre Schauspiel Frankfurt. “The new corporate identity is based around signalling that something new – something big – is coming,” says Rehberger.
The brand features white on black type as a nod to the black box theatre environment. It uses Bureau Grotesk 37, a typeface based on the Stephenson Blake Grotesque fonts created around the end of the 19th Century. “This font embodies the change from painting typefaces with a brush to constructing them with geometric forms,” says Rehberger. “It’s the perfect match when thinking about Brecht’s changes to the stage and Reese’s approach …. always driving at a very high speed, reaching for the new, making a point and watching the rear mirror from the corner of the eye.”