Over three decades, the Magnet Theatre has become a pillar of the performing arts community in South Africa. The theater’s work has fostered a generation of young performers, and provided opportunity and support to communities at risk - all the while upholding an unwavering commitment to innovative and sophisticated African theatre. MADE Design jumped at the opportunity to explore a rebranding for the theatre, which had not evolved its identity in thirty years of operation. This new branding had to marry the history of the theater with a fresh and relevant approach, acknowledging a rich heritage, but also looking forward to the future of the institution.
The new Magnet Theatre logo was designed to communicate several things about the Theatre through a bespoke typographic interpretation of the “M” as an icon. The three pillars of the M symbolise the heritage of the theatre spanning three decades at the time of rebranding, the three tiers of Magnet’s community work, and the three directors of the theatre. The bold forms of the symbol capture the physicality of theatre and deliver an abstract interpretation human bodies. This theme comes alive when these forms are used in pattern making and design.
The look and feel of the Magnet Theatre logo is influenced by two major craft movements. The imperfect placement of geometric forms and the weathered texture that frequently appears in designs is a nod to both African woodcut prints, and traditional letterpress typesetting techniques. This combination of aesthetics gives the Magnet Identity an African context while at the same time conveying the heritage of the organisation.