Shakespeare in the 80s


This was our fifth year providing design and photography for the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival! This year this fest's main performance was The Comedy of Errors, and the setting is the 1980s. The festival wanted a campaign that reflected the trends of the decade with inspiration from 80s TV such as Miami Vice. So we turned on some Cyndi Lauper and Bon Jovi and got to work!


We started out by doing a little research on the most commonly used graphic styles in the 80s. Nostalgia flourished as we found all sorts of lasers, grid surfaces, triangles and neon lights. Once those memories were triggered we were on a roll in cranking out ideas.


We presented the festival with some initial concepts so we'd have a general direction to move in. They selected a beach scene against a sunset and asked us to make a few tweaks to the color palette and graphics. Here's what we ended up with...



They also needed an official logo design for the season. Our initial idea was to use their original logo, change the colors to some vibrant neons and add the year "2021" in an iconic 80s gradient. The loved it! But they had us replace their traditional masked queen with a portrait of Shakespeare himself. After a few rounds of color changes, we landed on a final design.

Once the concepts were established, we put them to use by creating all the pieces to the campaign including outdoor banners, postcards, script covers, the program, and a lot of merch!

After the show was cast, we had a little photoshoot in the theatre to create some promotional imagery. We took photos of the main cast members in costume against their vibrant and beautiful set as well as under some colored lights for an 80s club vibe.


We also shot the cast isolated against white backdrops (as much as they would cover anyway) so we could switch out the background for a vibrant gradient.


The week of the show, we went back into the theatre to take more photos during a dress rehearsal.


On opening night, it was very satisfying to see everything come together - our banner designs hanging outside the theatre, attendees thumbing through our program layouts, T-shirts with our logo design up for sale. It's great to watch a successful campaign pay off!

Got an event coming up that you need to promote? Contact us so we can create a powerful campaign to get the word out and take your brand to the next level.

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