Arts and Culture

All the world is a stage

Arts and Culture
European Design Awards. 2014
Merket For God Design. 2014
Visuelt. 2013

Riksteatret. New experiences and brand for Norway´s national touring theatre.


Riksteatret is a touring theater whose audience, as they put it, “is the whole of Norway's population.” In practice, however, it has proved difficult to reach out beyond a comparatively narrow core audience. 
In all, Riksteatret performs at around 70 venues throughout the country, some of them simultaneously. The logistics of moving people and equipment—not to mention adapting to new venues, each with their own computer systems, routines and rules—has led them to focus much of their energy on individual shows and tours, at the expense of communicating a coherent identity or brand. 
Looking for new thoughts and ideas, Riksteatret involved Bleed to lay down a strategy, provide service design for the entire customer journey, and develop a new visual identity. 

The goal was to awaken interest in theater throughout the country, reach new audiences, sell more tickets, and revitalize the perception of the theater.
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The most visible wall at Riksteatret’s HQ is now, in its entirety, covered by a huge visualization of the customer’s journey (i.e., the new strategy), so that everyone working there is reminded of it several times a day. For the same purpose, all the main venues have participated in workshops in Oslo.

At its core, this strategy is all about enabling audiences to actively participate, and have new and different experiences than before.

They can meet the actors, participate in workshops (e.g. dance, music or scenography), attend lectures, read articles and publications, or even learn about lighting and doll making. The «experience more» concept is communicated at every point of contact, from newsletters to the back of tickets. At the same time, the performances themselves are extended beyond the stage. The tour bus will be dressed as a prop, the theatre surrounded by floodlights, and there’ll be themed merchandise and food available for audiences. It is, in effect, a complete take-over of the venue – more of an event than simply a play. 

All communication shares a comprehensive new visual identity. Discarding old-fashioned, high-brow theater conventions, the visual concept is fun and bold, appealing to younger and more masculine audiences than before. It is derived from the usage of bulletin boards — a timeless provider of information, as relevant today as it was a hundred years ago. 
The logo, which is inspired by a poster, is built upon a flexible rectangular format. The four outer corners (where the poster was once held by nails) are suspended by a thick frame as well as the letters “R, I ,K ,S” (meaning ‘national’ in Norwegian).
This system adapts to the corresponding medium and format seamlessly, thus creating a differentiating and instantly recognizable visual expression. This dynamic framework allows room for different and versatile expressions per production, depending on the communicative intention. 

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Riksteatret has been redefined from a de facto subcontractor to the various venues, to a brand and a destination in itself — taking ownership of the entire customer experience and the relationship with its audience.

The project has attracted much attention and praise, in Norway and abroad. Winning gold in the National Norwegian Graphic Design Awards (Norwegian: Visuelt), European Design Awards, and the Award for Design Excellence by the Norwegian Design Council.The latter jury stated that “the solutions are characterized by insight and understanding of the complexity of the task. Riksteatret is a good proof of the diversity of ideas and the degree of innovation that forms the foundation of a solid design job.”
The project has also been featured in a number of design magazines and design blogs all over the world. And most important of all, there has been a massiv increase in subscriptions and sales.

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