In 2015, Grande Prairie Live Theater reached out to nine10 for help with a much needed website overhaul and re-branding to bring the caliber of their communications up to the level of their excellent local cultural productions.
As an organization with numerous stakeholders and audience segments, GPLT was struggling to unify their communications and attract new and younger audiences. After our initially research phase, nine10 identified several specific audience and stakeholder segments that a re-branding would need to serve, including an army of volunteers, individual directors, cast and crew, a manager and board, and of course the local audience.
A bold and clever mark, sophisticated but social. Just like a night at GPLT.
The first major challenge during the project phase was to explore and develop GPLT’s new brand, including an updated logo that would serve the non-profit for years to come. The nine10 team explored a number of options, before landing on the simple and iconic “exclamation point” concept that won out.
This concept was designed to emphasize the energy of the live theater experience in a bold and engaging way. Although many will view a mark like this and see it as bold text only, once the exclamation point is noticed, it can’t be unseen, and offers an intelligent and subtle interpretation for the logo. The two elements, text and circular mark, were also chosen to infer the multiple dualities of the performing arts:
- Community/arts organization
- Front of house/back of house.
A new branded approach to unify promotion of individual productions.
As an organization used to nurturing several creative teams through a number of individual productions each year, GPLT had a long history of allowing individual productions to creatively handle their own promotion and marketing. Although this empowered local artists, it also resulted in inconsistent and at times confusing marketing to a wider audience, and watered down GPLT’s brand. To address this, while maintaining a measure of creative autonomy for individual productions, nine10 developed a new colour-coded system to help audiences differentiate various types of productions including theater, music, and festivals.
As part of this effort, nine10 designed new poster templates that would help unify GPLT’s marketing under a coherent brand, while maintaining a level of customization for individual productions to remain unique. The colour coding system was used int he poster templates, and carried over to the website design.
A responsive WordPress website to present it all professionally, on any device.
With the branded foundation in place, nine10 designed a custom website for GPLT on the WordPress platform. The site required several pieces of organizational functionality, including an easy interface for GPLT to maintain its production listings and more prominent calls-to-action to convert users over to GPLT’s third-party ticket sales system. Using powerful custom categories, and the colour-coding developed as part of the branding, individual productions can be saved, sorted and filtered in a user friendly way for both GPLT staff and ticket-buyers. Users can browse productions by category, date, or in a handy calendar view.
In addition, GPLT was ready to add a blog for upcoming news and events, and needed better social media integration, sponsor recognition, and volunteer/audition processes. nine10 built all of this and more into the new site.