• 3 December, 2008

    Prop 8, the Musical

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 10:09 pm permalink

    Featuring Jack Black as Jesus, a cast of lots, and the ever awesome Dr. Horrible himself, Neil Patrick Harris:

    See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

    Pure win.

  • 15 June, 2008

    Paula Scher Doesn’t Alter The Public’s Branding Much. Everyone Takes Note.

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 12:46 pm permalink


    Over the last few weeks I’ve been seeing the new poster campaign for the Public Theater’s summer productions of Hamlet and Hair, mostly in the subway. Irene Gallo posted an image of the subway ad on The Art Department, and Brand New featured the re-branding (or ‘reinvigorating of the current brand’) of the Public on Friday. Brand New, in turn, pointed me to the Pentagram blog, where the entire scope of the project is chronicled, followed by a retrospective of the posters for productions of years past.

    Scher’s work is more of a refresh of the existing brand, and as such, the changes to the brand are subtle. The logotype has been re-set in Knockout, that beautiful, varied and versatile multi-weight sans-serif grotesque from H&FJ, which is so evocative of the old-time wood type that Scher used as inspiration for her graphic approach. This approach still works very well, despite the many, many knockoffs that this particular work has inspired over the years (including some of my own work back in the early oughts–what was that saying about flattery and imitation?).

    The posters and postcards showcased on the Pentagram blog are also very attractive. They imply a system that takes its inspiration from both the woodblock type, letterpress broadside tradition of American printing and from the strict use of rules and a grid championed by early-to-mid-century modernist European designers (De Stijl, Bauhaus, etc). The use of halftone imagery with solid colors underneath, although starting to get played out now that everyone has been doing it (I’ll be sad to see it go, I like this aesthetic very much. But I digress.), still serves its purpose well: it hearkens back to the wood–type days (thus, it makes a lot of sense to use within the context of the Public’s identity, ubiquitousness be damned), but also connects with modern design trends. The result is a system for design that, as Scher points out, can be applied by any designer, and lends itself to endless variation on the same theme, resulting in very dynamic layouts which all keep the distinctive Public Theater brand front-and-center.