In 2015, the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) at the University of California, Berkeley, was in a situation clients often face: they had a logo they didn’t want to change, but no consistent visual vocabulary to accompany it. I was tasked with creating a look at once inspired by the University’s brand and unique to TDPS.
The foundation of the aesthetic is wedge-shaped, blue-on-blue gradients evocative of spotlights — a modification of both “prisms” and the primary navy hue from the University’s brand guide. Alone, these gradients could seem gloomy, so I cherry-picked vibrant colors from the guide to electrify the palette. Photography presented a similar concern: performance shots are often very dark, so human figures are cut out from their somber, black backdrops whenever possible, then color-treated to skew towards the bright TDPS palette. University-provided light leaks lend further funkiness. Even typography got a unique twist: headers appear in UC Berkeley’s superfamily, Freight, but are typeset using GREP styles that transform its standard alphabet into unicase.
Implemented together, these treatments echo the University’s brand, while capturing the experimental energy of a department whose performances feature their students.
Bronze in Integrated Graphic Design 2019
Bronze in Branding 2019
L.S. Boldsmith, CA
University of California, Berkeley — Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, US
Director of Communications & Development: Melissa Schultz, University of California, Berkeley — Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies