Musical theatre workshops and productions

Blog 53 Logos, Posters and Billboards

A key marketing tool for musicals is the use of logos, posters and billboards. In a quick glance you want to telegraph what the show is about and what the experience will be like.  Usually the rule is – Keep it simple – although there are examples of successful logos when that rule is broken.

Here are some of my favorites.

  • catsCATS….there is no doubt that the decision to use this logo took a lot of discussion. Those two eyes staring out over Times Square. When the show opened on Broadway at the Wintergarden Theatre, not a lot was known about the show in the US at the time.  I was in college at the time and my dance teacher – Jim Corti – flew to NYC to audition for the show.  I still remember him telling us about the audition.  He said, the choreographer looked like she was wearing long white gloves and that the dance audition was one of his roughest.  In the end, he was cut because he was not a strong enough tumbler. But we all were psyched to see the show.
  • starlight expressSTARLIGHT EXPRESS – when I saw this poster I was floored. I could not believe there would be roller skating on Broadway.  And not just ordinary roller skating – but lightning fast and intricate skating.  This poster says it all.
  • marypoppins-600x600MARY POPPINS – I know….this is a copout. Everyone knows the movie.  Everyone can picture Julie Andrews in that costume.  But here is where simple comes in. Silhouette is all that is needed and WHAM….you know everything you need to know.

I also want to say that WICKED and the revival of 110 IN THE SHADE are also on my favorites list, simple and clear.

Of course there are posters that were deemed “didn’t sell tickets”.  Shows like SIDESHOW went through several marketing campaigns before they landed at the final one used in the original show. But by then, the show was too far deep in the hole for the producers to continue to keep the show running.

But in the end, the thing that many feel is most important is – how will it look several stories tall in digital lights in the middle of TIMES SQUARE?  Will it drive the tourists to buy full price tickets? Will it tell the story and make it fun (or interesting) to see?

What are your favorite Broadway posters and logos?  What are your least favorites?

Larry Little


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