Urgent.Agency has embarked on an exciting journey with Malmö City Theatre. The art of improvisation and free falling has inspired both parties and given way to a new, temporary identity that explores all of the options that comes along with temporarity.
In order to convey that the theatre is in transition – and heading towards a larger transformation – we chose to undress the theatre. Out with the existing visual identity, off with the actors’ clothes and make up! The theatre has re-emerged naked, with nothing but the bare essentials of the theatre: the ensemble, props and fantastic stories! In the years to come, the identity will keep exploring - while getting dressed again.
To “cleanse the palate” for the upcoming transformation - while signalling change right now - the theatre has decided to engage in a 2-year period with a temporary identity that resets all preconceptions and fixed ideas about Malmö Theatre. The colour scheme, the font, the use of photography and the entire way of communicating visually has changed. The temporary identity subscribes to the bare essentials of the world of theatre and to a playful and imperfect appearance that allows the theatre, its staff, and its ensemble to test and experiment their way forward.
The rebus as a signature
The rebus is a signature feature of the new identity. It was inspired by old publicity images for Ingmar Bergman’s film Persona, in which the meaning and intensity of the play is condensed into four small squares with close-ups of the actress. In the rebus the the meaning of a play can be condensed into small units who, when combined, spell out the play itself – in line with the overarching idea of stripping the theatre to its bare essentials.
Stripped down portraits and body parts
The portraits of the ensemble are all taken in the nude with no makeup. The ensemble is the raw material that goes into a play. Inspired by Andy Warhol’s so-called screen tests, the actors agreed to reset their faces and present the most expressionless and neutral appearance possible. Body parts are the primary tools of any actor. Here they are celebrated and used for decoration and mood. Objects are used to symbolise a key element of a play.
The playful marker
Highlights are used to create hierarchy in an otherwise flat hierarchical design. The highlights are generally used in blue colour but can change to red in children’s and Christmas plays. In addition to highlights, illustrations are used to add small hints about the play. Hand printed text and small illustrations gives life to the printed matter and a feeling of temporality.
Birk Marcus Hansen
Emilie Holm Sandholdt