Folger Theatre Shake logo
Brand Strategy / 04.05.2019

To be or not to be?

Shakespeare plays are fun. While at first they may be hard to decipher, every time you read or see one, you’ll notice something you hadn’t before: you’ll catch intricacies, nuances, and profound observations on the human condition. It’s not every day one gets the opportunity to dig deep into King John, Macbeth, or Love’s Labor’s Lost, but we did as part of our efforts to breathe new life into Folger Theatre’s 2018-19 season. And boy, was it fun.

Folger Theatre is the production arm of the renowned Folger Shakespeare Library and an absolute DC gem. Offering unique, contemporary takes on Shakespeare’s timeless works, its innovative offerings help fight the stigma that Shakespeare is too “old” or “intimidating” to enjoy. Grafik’s job was to create a new visual identity, unifying theme (Shake the World), and marketing strategy for Folger Theatre’s 2018-19 season to bring new, younger audiences to the theater doors.

In order to pay homage to Folger Theatre’s historic roots and remain true to the brand’s personality, we used historic engravings as the baseline for our visuals. Thanks to the stunning and colorful textures and patterns overlaid by artist Andrew Bannecker, we brought modern flair to an otherwise traditional collection of images. Each piece incorporated figures, symbols, and themes from each play.

 

photo of Folger ads

In preparation for the season’s opening, our team made sure Folger Theatre’s digital marketing was best utilized to further engage and expand its audience base, resulting in not only a 60% increase in ticket pageviews on the Folger Library’s website, but also sold out shows before they had even opened.

Over the course of our year-long engagement with the theatre, we learned a ton about Shakespeare and also brought home gold for Best Cross-Platform Integration Campaign at the 2019 American Advertising Awards Washington DC –our 53rd Addy in our 40-year history. While winning awards is fun, working with clients with such different challenges is even more rewarding. 

Photo of Grafik employees winning award.

Check out our case study for more.

Portrait of Clara Shannon
Clara Shannon

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