Small Back Room to rebrand Shakespeare’s Globe theatre

Small Back Room has been appointed to develop the branding of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London.

The consultancy won the project following a strategic and credentials-led pitch in March. The theatre had originally set two separate briefs for developing the branding and creating a new website, to which approximately 15 consultancies responded, says Shakespeare’s Globe commercial director Mark Sullivan.

Sullivan says, ’The Globe has existed in terms of a place people can physically visit for ten years now. We felt that we were a mature organisation, but we wanted to do new things, such as explore the brand outside of Bankside in other London constituencies.’

Small Back Room pitched for both projects alongside three other consultancies and was appointed because of strong strategic proposals and experience in the cultural heritage sector, says Sullivan. The project will involve developing the Globe’s visual identity to create more coherence between its different components, which include the working theatre, in-house and touring companies, educational programmes, exhibitions and events.

Small Back Room’s creative director Callum Lumsden says, ’The Globe’s a unique organisation with unique architecture. All the other elements need to sing from the same hymn sheet.’ The major touchpoints for the branding’s look and feel will respond to the theatre architecture and convey the spirit of Shakespeare that exists in the public imagination, says Lumsden.

When asked whether the project will include work on the logo, Lumsden says, ’We’re keeping an open mind about what the creative will involve, but the logo itself is one of the classics.’ The new identity will be seen initially on the theatre’s website, which is due to launch in September.

Although there are no concrete plans to use Small Back Room’s experience in retail and interiors to refurbish the theatre site, Lumsden says the project may ’open up other elements that need to be addressed’. Sullivan says, ’Small Back Room will develop the Globe’s brand strategy and its experience puts it in a position to consider branding widely.

Branding is about collateral, about how the building and shop looks, right down to which merchandise is selected and sold.’ Lumsden says, ’The Globe is embraced by so many people for different situations.

The aim is to really study and understand the stakeholders so we can match the creative work with their aspirations.’

Shakespeare’s Globe theatre

  • Founded by American actor and director Sam Wanamaker, Shakespeare’s Globe took four years to build, from 1993 to 1997, and cost £30m
  • The Underglobe, which hosts exhibitions and features gallery space, was designed by Nick Boulting of Robin Wade & Partners
  • In 2007, integrated consultancy Cultural Innovations refurbished the theatre’s permanent exhibition, which explores the life of William Shakespeare and the history of the Globe

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