London-based consultancy Hingston Studio has redesigned the identity of contemporary dance company Rambert.
As well as crafting the new visual identity, the studio has also worked on art direction, campaign visuals and strategy for Rambert.
Rambert gave its first performance in 1926, though its origins date back earlier to when Polish émigrée and Ballet Russes dancer Marie Rambert arrived in London following the outbreak of Word War I. She began teaching dance, and later opened her own school in Kensington.
The company now has its own school on London’s South Bank and regularly tours its productions. According to Hingston Studio founder Tom Hingston, the ambition was to craft a “future facing, digital first identity, that would aid the company’s mission to bring dance an entirely new audience”.
It also seeks to engage dance fans, not simply paying customers. “The objective of this new communication strategy would be to build a fanbase, not just a customer base, creating a connection and dialogue that extends beyond ticket sales,” Hingston adds.
For the new brand, the studio has created a segmented R symbol which animates. The symbol comprises three segments, which are designed to “adopt a kinetic behaviour in digital or screen-based environments”, explains Hingston.
As well as referring to the Rambert name, the icon resembles a dancer when it’s animated. Hingston says: “Harnessing the gestural quality of a dancer in motion, its poised stance evokes a kick or vertical movement.”
Thanks to its moving parts, the R can be adapted flexibly across applications, such as acting as a framework for video.
The identity also uses a bespoke condensed typeface, named Marie, which is a customised version of the existing typeface Marsden Slim. The design was a collaboration with J Foundry.
Individual dancers star in the new campaign, with an emphasis on their unique skill. “Presented as superheroes and leaders, they are elevated through extreme pose and body language,” Hingston says. The unconventional images, shot by photographer Mariano Vivanco, are meant to pique interest and inspire action, the designer explains.
The dancers appear next to text – in bright shades of yellow, green and pink – with straplines like “It’s your move” and “What if bored didn’t exist”.
“A dynamic synergy of type, written word and image give the brand a bold, contemporary voice,” says Hingston. “A voice that evokes the provocative energy and attitude of Rambert performance, yet pushes the organisation beyond the conventions of dance.”