Mercury Theatre: Make It

Brand Development

Putting talent development in the spotlight

We rarely have to pitch these days, but pitching to work with our local theatre was an opportunity not to be missed.

Armed with a well-crafted presentation (not to mention some sweets as a little bribe), we were very proud to successfully win the pitch to help rebrand the theatre’s Learning Participation and Talent Development Programme (LPTD).

The brief was to indicate our approach for the creation of a visual brand identity for the Mercury Theatre’s LPTD offering within a short time-frame.

The team at the Mercury Theatre are a busy bunch, led by some warm and inspiring individuals. In this case, the LPTD team deliver exciting and ambitious opportunities for local and regional communities to be part of theatre life and the industry that engineers it, fundamentally to engage new and developing existing audiences; all centred around the wonderful theatre building.

The Mercury team’s workshops produced some interesting and exciting metaphors and subjects for the brand, focussing on themes of engine rooms, laboratories and incubators – all of which conjure up words and images related to nurturing, creating, processing, being. After some consideration, the name ‘Make It’ was decided.

We learnt that there are many layers to the LPTD programme. Initially 5 strands: Schools & Learning, Young People, Talent Development, Skills & Community. Each one of these strands covers a wide range of subjects and, within those subjects, adds further layers creating an ever-increasing platform.

So, how did we brand a multi-layered offer such as this? A logo system is how.

Also referred to as a ‘fluid logo’ or ‘dynamic logo’ — at it’s core, it is a regular static logo with the added potential to alter its appearance without compromising the initial structure. The most epic example of a logo system is the popular ‘Google Doodle’, which changes almost daily to highlight a specific topic or event.

The really neat thing about fluid logos is they can change to speak directly to its audience. Not just working as a signature mark, but adding more potential as a promotional tool for any subject it wishes to convey. Considering Make It’s broad range of subjects, we believed this was the best approach.

The Make It brand is in its infancy, but over time it will engage and inspire those willing to be part of the talent development programme and further raise its profile.

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Defining the logo

To achieve the desired young and edgy aesthetic, we tried a more sporadic approach without boundaries. Inspired by stage markers, which help actors find their positions, the result was a logo created using pieces of sticky tape, bonded together to create the word-mark. This was then digitally enhanced and combined with the strapline to create the raw version of the logo. From here the logo would mainly be used with various images and styles, allowing for fresh and diverse applications.

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Choosing the typeface

A geometric, square slab-serif – Factoria – was chosen for its industrious look, with strong and confident hard lines, complementing the edginess and spontaneity of the logotype.

“The logo system you have designed is extremely robust and creative. Thanks for all your great work.”

Andrew Burton
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