Shakespeare Week


William Shakespeare, widely regarded as the preeminent writer in the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist, had a week-long festival dedicated to his works in Curitiba, southern Brazil. The “April of Shakespeare,” a partnership between three of the most important universities in town: UNICENP, UFPR, and FAP and FNAC (a bookstore chain), brought to the city’s calendar readings, plays, group studies, and conferences, including music concerts from the Renaissance era. The agenda was guided by influential names from the academic sector, writers, translators, theater directors, and actors/actresses.

Shakespeare graphic design button pin

The challenge: The festival organizers asked us to create a visual identity that matched the level of the performances, seminars, and lectures. We needed to explore a direction not often seen in the Medieval and Renaissance dramaturgy festivals, appealing from a younger demographic of college and high school students to senior literature and theater enthusiasts. We were asked to create the key art and executions in print, signage, billboard, email, and web banner ads, cutting through the visual noise in a city of 1.9 million people.

The solution: Inspired by Shakespeare’s work and cultural influence, we started the project by researching his plays, sonnets, and poems and also included surveys of color-costume and symbolisms during the sixteenth and early seventeenth-century. We quickly recognized one distinctive attribute in Shakespeare’s world that drives the tension in his story-telling: polarity. His work ranges from tragedies to comedies. His characters have conflicting feelings and thoughts, expressing love, hate, jealousy, mercy, pride, and vengeance. He wrote about monarchs, aristocrats, bourgeois, and workers in many timeless plays, which also serve us as a window to the life and language of many centuries in the past. With that concept in mind, we took a minimalist approach to our design to stand out from other festivals that rely heavily on rich and intrinsic graphics of the Renaissance era. The main focus of our key art is a famous historical illustration of “The Bard,” but we gave it a modern vector-style treatment. We then chose the colors based on the polarity concept: purple (only allowed to the nobility, according to the Sumptuary laws of queen Elizabeth I) and orange and earth tones (the opposite in that spectrum dedicated to the lower class).

Shakespeare Week


William Shakespeare, widely regarded as the preeminent writer in the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist, had a week-long festival dedicated to his works in Curitiba, southern Brazil. The “April of Shakespeare,” a partnership between three of the most important universities in town: UNICENP, UFPR, and FAP and FNAC (a bookstore chain), brought to the city’s calendar readings, plays, group studies, and conferences, including music concerts from the Renaissance era. The agenda was guided by influential names from the academic sector, writers, translators, theater directors, and actors/actresses.

Shakespeare graphic design button pin

The challenge: The festival organizers asked us to create a visual identity that matched the level of the performances, seminars, and lectures. We needed to explore a direction not often seen in the Medieval and Renaissance dramaturgy festivals, appealing from a younger demographic of college and high school students to senior literature and theater enthusiasts. We were asked to create the key art and executions in print, signage, billboard, email, and web banner ads, cutting through the visual noise in a city of 1.9 million people.

The solution: Inspired by Shakespeare’s work and cultural influence, we started the project by researching his plays, sonnets, and poems and also included surveys of color-costume and symbolisms during the sixteenth and early seventeenth-century. We quickly recognized one distinctive attribute in Shakespeare’s world that drives the tension in his story-telling: polarity. His work ranges from tragedies to comedies. His characters have conflicting feelings and thoughts, expressing love, hate, jealousy, mercy, pride, and vengeance. He wrote about monarchs, aristocrats, bourgeois, and workers in many timeless plays, which also serve us as a window to the life and language of many centuries in the past. With that concept in mind, we took a minimalist approach to our design to stand out from other festivals that rely heavily on rich and intrinsic graphics of the Renaissance era. The main focus of our key art is a famous historical illustration of “The Bard,” but we gave it a modern vector-style treatment. We then chose the colors based on the polarity concept: purple (only allowed to the nobility, according to the Sumptuary laws of queen Elizabeth I) and orange and earth tones (the opposite in that spectrum dedicated to the lower class).