Inspired by Paula Scher’s work for The Public Theater, the choreographer and dancer Eliot Feld first approached her about designing an identity for his dance company in 1997, when he decided to rename the company Ballet Tech.  Scher designed an identity using a typographic family of slab serifs, overlaying the typography on top of photographs of the dancers that had been taken by Lois Greenfield.  The year following, Scher re-invented the identity at Feld’s request, staggering the letterforms to make them appear as though they were moving in space.  In this poster for the 1999 season, Scher incorporated photographic images of four female dancers in an elongated position, and set them against the background of the lighting design plan that was being used for the performances at the Joyce Theater.

Paula Scher is an award winning graphic designer and a partner in the New York City firm, Pentagram. Since the early 1990s, she has developed the graphic identity, posters and signage for clients including New York’s Public Theater, Citibank, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Bloomberg, among many others.  In addition, she has collaborated with architects to create environmental graphics, and taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

 

Gail S. Davidson is Curator and Head of the Department of Drawings, Prints & Graphic Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

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