Sadler’s Wells

Structure + Emotion

Sadlers Wells on stage
The challenge was to create an identity system that would emphasise the daring nature of the performance, and the name of the brand bold enough to create and champion it.

The Challenge

Since the appointment of Alistair Spalding as artistic director in 2004, Sadler’s Wells has become bolder and braver. Part of Spalding’s creative vision was to evolve the theatre from simply a receiving house of touring works to a producing house in its own right, and with that, confirm Sadler’s Wells’ place as the home of contemporary dance.

The brand needed a refresh to mirror this daring evolution. The new identity needed to create a sense of consistency for the brand across a vast range of dance styles and companies, driving credit back to the Theatre.

A contemporary and expressive identity system that combines strong typographic structure with the emotion, vitality and physicality of performance imagery.

The Idea

The new identity is challenging and provocative: recognising Sadler’s Wells as an iconic, pioneering global arts institution and the dance that it creates. We developed a contemporary and expressive identity system that combines strong typographic structure with the emotion, vitality and physicality of performance imagery. The wordmark sits over imagery, conveying the collaboration of Sadler’s Wells and the artist, rather than separate or insignificant.

In addition to rebranding the main theatre, Red&White recommended separating the more mainstream Peacock Theatre from the Sadler’s Wells brand so that the two could be distinct.

Sadlers Wells Sylvie Guillem
Sadlers Wells venue
Since the rebrand, repeat purchases and memberships have risen.

The Result

In the nearly two years since the rebrand, the results have been marked: repeat purchases are up year on year, and the Spring/Summer season 2016 has seen every single show match or exceed its sales targets, an unprecedented success not matched by the previous branding.

Practically, the logo acts as a hallmark of consistency to the hundreds of touring companies’ productions that Sadler’s Wells stages each year, where previously there was very little payback to the brand. It has helped to work out messaging priorities and devote structure to all communications, but still allows a flexibility to tailor each execution to the specific show.

Separating the Peacock Theatre brand from the Sadler’s Wells has had a very positive effect on its ticket sales and perception, allowing it to celebrate more mainstream dance, catching up with competitors by engaging in the brand behaviours of its peers.

Sadlers Wells logo detail
Sadlers Wells screen
Sadlers Wells performance flyers
Sadlers Wells annual reports
Sadlers Wells performance posters
Sadlers Wells on screen
“Red&White’s new identity for Sadler’s Wells has had a transformative effect.”Sebastian Cheswright
Head of Marketing & Sales, Sadler’s Wells

The Experience

“Red&White’s new identity for Sadler’s Wells has had a transformative effect on the Theatre. Not only with a marked rise in ticket sales and repeat purchases, but in the way we behave and communicate. The strong, confident concept has in turn made us the strong, confident brand we deserved to be.

One of our biggest challenges was creating a consistent brand for Sadler’s Wells across the vast number of touring company productions which we host alongside our own originations, and practically, the identity has given us the consistency yet the flexibility for each one to pay back to the Sadler’s Wells brand.

It looks amazing. A beautiful, seamless, integrated design which has delivered tangible results to Sadler’s Wells across the board. Red&White acted like our creative partners throughout the process, guiding and offering creative direction. Their vision and talent have been invaluable to Sadler’s Wells. We could not have asked for more.”

Sebastian Cheswright
Head of Marketing & Sales, Sadler’s Wells

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