Psychedelic owl design for Folger Theatre

Folger Theatre

Shake the World

Folger Theatre is an intimate, Elizabethan playhouse for “breathtakingly original…strikingly contemporary” drama. Its superb stagings of both favorites and rarely seen Shakespeare plays, as well as carefully chosen contemporary works, are renowned worldwide for their authenticity and cultural relevance.

Shake Logo - Folger Shakespeare Library is the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the ultimate resource for exploring Shakespeare and his world.

While Shakespeare remains astonishingly relevant for every generation, the Bard can’t seem to shake a fusty image in the eyes of younger audiences. To bring a new generation of patrons to Folger while remaining true to its personality and scholarly roots, we crafted a visual identity, marketing strategy and unifying theme (Shake the World) for the full 2018/2019 season.

Folger Theatre Shake Brochure

To do this, we started with what makes Folger truly unique—its relationship to the Folger Shakespeare Library and their vast collection of Shakespeare’s printed works (the largest in the world!). Historic engravings served as the foundation for our visuals, while the vivid, illustrative patterns and textures overlaid by artist Andrew Bannecker transformed each image into a more provocative, modern motif.

Various posters for the Folger Theatre events
Folger Theatre Nell Gwynn ad
A image of 3 owls in yellow, purple and orange for Folger Theatre


As the countdown to curtain times began, we helped Folger expand its audience through a shift away fromtraditional and direct ad buys to a more programmatic, omni-channel approach spanning social media, digital radio, programmatic display networks and more. The combination of playfully sophisticated creative, strategic targeting, and bi-weekly creative optimizations resonated with drama enthusiasts, literary scholars and visiting tourists alike.

Social media ads for Folger Theatre
Shake - 4x increase in click through rate
Folger Theatre Statistic - 63% Increase in followers on facebook from ads
Infographic of statistic of ticket page views for Folger Theatre
3 ads banner promoting shows at Folger Theatre

One more result: the work was awarded a 2019 Gold ADDY (American Advertising Awards DC) as best Integrated Brand Identity Campaign.

Grafik Gold Award - American Advertising Awards 2019

Behind the curtain

Folger’s Marketing Director, Peter Eramo, recounts the experience of working with Grafik on the “Shake the World” season.

Folger Theatre - Shake Tshirt with a quote on the side

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