Theatre Alliance Logo

Chris Rugen's picture

Hello all. I kind of disappeared from Typophile for a stretch, and this logo is one of the reasons. Right now, the client and I are making the final decisions. This is great, because that means we can roll this sucker out soon. This is tough, because I think we have slightly different preferences. So, I'm interested in your opinions. However, I'm not so much interested in logo tweaking advice, and more interested in your general preference between the three options:

We call this the "quarter mark".
TA logos 1A

We call this the "radiating mark".
TA logos 1B

This is essentially a combination of attributes of both 1A and 1B.
TA logos 1C

There are some little bits that I'll be adjusting (particularly in 1c), but these are essentially the 3 final options. If someone asked you to choose, which would you? (Rationales for choices are welcomed.)

FYI: The logo is for a theatre advocacy/promotional group that produces no theatre, but coordinates theatres in the Greater Philly area. Their website shows their current logo. I'm helping them rebrand as a more substantial and professional cultural institution (celebrating its 10th anniversary this year) to match changes being made in the organization. The mark accompanying the type is actually a capital T rotated at a regular interval. 'The Alliance' is the shortened version that they're considering for common usage, with the extended name being reserved for more formal use.

Some of you may recognize the type from an Uppercase critique thread from a few months ago. As you can see, it took a slightly different direction.

squeeze's picture

Considering usage for theatre related applications, I favor concept C. The "TA" is emphasized in the more subtle burst as opposed to the intense red burst in concept A, which I think is appropriate. I like the thought of using the quarter mark on the lower left corner of pieces for a couple of reason: (1) It provides a lot of important real estate for visuals, and (2) if I have the correct perception of this organization's function, the lower left corner of the page is an appropriate hierarchical location for the mark also.

On another note

soren_olsen's picture

Hi Chris --

I think that 'Greater' and 'Philadelphia' in the subline get too close. In other words, I don't think the swash R adds to the overall beauty. Have you considered a normal R? It may be less disturbing to the name above.

Have you tested the mark on colleagues and family -- regarding the pictural element? How will they react to the flag-like elements.

Overall, a very nice mark. The typography is good.

Soren O

Chris Rugen's picture

"On another note

kirsten's picture

very nice designs, they have a Shakespearian feel to them which definitely says theater even in the abbreviated "The Alliance" version. Yet, it also looks modern so the design will work no matter what kind of performance. My favorite is 1A. I like the dimensionality of the mark better than the straight forward gradation used in the other two. Something you should consider though, is their overall budget for printing, if they will always use a quality printer who can hold the subtle tone changes again I say 1A. If frequently they'll end up using a quick-e printer and the quality may be so-so then I vote for 3A - it's a little easier/safer to reproduce. I'd hate to see that beautiful logo turn into a splotchy blob.

david_g's picture

I don't really understand the mark. What do the gradations of color mean? How did you arrive at the vortex shape?

kirsten's picture

Like S

Chris Rugen's picture

David, the mark is partially the result of a project requirement for no representational designs (their current logo is representational, which they want to change).

My specific rationale is as follows: the Theatre Alliance is/ wants to be a centerpoint for the Greater Philly Theatre community and theatre-goers visiting or living in the area. The mark itself uses a radial form built with capital Ts (which stands for 'theatre', of course). While not necessarily overt, the idea is that theatres working with the Theatre Alliance, which represents many theatres, extend their abilities and effects compared to those of an individual theatre. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it's a striking mark that, as it did for Kirsten and others, evokes theatrical images without literal theatrical imagery (at least not intentionally). I also chose the central circular form to make an oblique visual reference to the wax seals used on official proclamations, supported by the rich red color.

Although, I admit, the flags reading of the mark is unexpected. No one noticed the flags until now... I wonder if others in the organization will see them.

david_g's picture


I am not reading the T's in the form created. I do see the flags. What does the Manitia typeface have to do with Philadelphia Theaters? The whole logo seems a little to "Dracula" and "Jekyl and Hyde" to me. Doesn't Really work for "Anne" and "Fidler on the Roof". IMPO I would try and simplify the mark. I saw a mark recently along the same topic line you should check it out.

squeeze's picture

I'm not sure that I agree with David on this one. If I understand the purpose of "The Alliance", then the identity doesn't belong in the theatre ("Anne" and "Fidler on the Roof"), but rather, in the general industry. People within any industry generally want to be viewed as taking their work seriously (I know there are exceptions), and I think this mark accomlishes that.

Chris Rugen's picture

You hit the nail on the head, Scott.

However, it's good to be forced to defend your work. That Times Square logo's very interesting, too. This back-and-forth is bringing up some good issues for discussion with the client.

david_g's picture

If Alliance is the focus then mark should suggest more about cooperation, compromise, strength, unity, security, group, resourcefulness, leadership, BOND. Bond being the most important. I feel that the mark shown has really in fact blurred these descriptions listed above as opposed to adhere to them.

soren_olsen's picture

Off topic --

I'm new to this ... but I guess if *you* can spell my first name with an o-slash, so can I!


andrew_baker's picture

I'm a big fan of the radiating mark, 2b.


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