A look at the new logo for Shakespeare Theatre Globe London.
The Shakespeare Theatre Globe in London has recently gone through a change in their visual identity. Alan what a fantastic change it is. The process of creating the visual mark was a wonderful natural process that gives a nod to the wooden structure that the Globe Theatre was originally made from made from.
The previous logo was created by Pentagram partner Alan Fletcher a number of years ago The new logo mark was created by London based the Partners.The mark is based on the original Shakespeare Globe playhouse built in 1576. After an altercation regarding leases, the theatre was knockdown and rebuilt near the Thames river in London. In 1613 it burnt down and was rebuilt only to be demolished in 1644 due to laws of the land at the time. It was over 300 years until the building was resurrected by American Sam Wanamaker. The theatre was opened in 1997 after Wannamaker had passed away. The logo mark was carefully crafted from a circular cutting off an oak tree. The cutting was then sanded down so that it resembled a 20-sided polygon. The shape based on the original building.
I think what is really striking about this mark is its solid foundations as a concept and the process of creating it. There is something lovely about inking up the oak cut off and creating the rubbing for the logo mark. The colour pallet that was chosen all ties into the early printing process used to print posters and brochures in the Shakespearian time.
The typography used for the print and digital has a wonderful dynamic feel to it. The words emanate from the red polygon, which works very well.
What works well is that you can see the rawness of the mark from the grain of the wood and the splits in the timber. It almost reflects that rawness and creativity of the theatre stage.
Like any logo mark, it should work in multiple places and sizes. This is a key part of visual consistency. I do find that this mark struggles a bit at smaller sizes. On their Twitter profile picture, the splits in the timber are not as notable as they are at larger sizes. Now, this would be a hard this to achieve from this printed mark. What would be an option is to create an outlined version of the mark where you just see the shape of the polygon.
All images © Shakespeare’s Globe