Steppenwolf Theatre Co. Design & Branding STEPPENWOLF LOBBY by Ogilvy & Mather USA


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Industry Cinemas, Theatres & Concert Halls
Media Design & Branding
Market United States
Agency Ogilvy & Mather USA
Executive Creative Director Joe Sciarrotta
Released November 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Public Spaces
Product/Service: THEATRE
Executive Creative Director: Joe Sciarrotta (Ogilvy And Mather)
Media placement: Lobby - Steppenwolf Theatre lobby - March 2011

Describe the brief from the client
Steppenwolf is an artist-driven theater with an appetite for groundbreaking work. A younger generation of artists and an interest in producing exciting works on a smaller scale led to the opening of a special performance space on the first floor of the parking garage building.

The assignment was to bring the Steppenwolf Garage brand to life in a very tangible way through the design of its lobby and lounge.

Describe the challenges and key objectives
Key objective: To make an immediate statement about what sets Steppenwolf Garage apart from other theaters, including Steppenwolf’s own main stage, to people entering the space.

Challenge: That statement would have to be appropriate for all the works presented by this innovative company, a list of plays that will vary wildly in structure, mood, style and ambitions.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
The design tells the story of Steppenwolf through an immersive brand experience of its world—creating plays, bringing them to life and celebrating them.

The furniture is from Steppenwolf’s prop room, so it blurs the lines between stage and audience, theater and life.

A wall made of scripts (5,800 pounds of paper) invites you behind the scenes into the minds of the people who wrote them.

A wall of reclaimed, ebonized wood mirrors the intricacy of developing and presenting a play by leading your eye from a simple, regular pattern to a complex focal point where you see more depth.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
The design says “You’re part of this artistic community, not just looking at it.
Without an audience, there are scripts and rehearsals and stages, but there is no play. We respect your role, and we want to make it richer.”