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Portland Center Stage

Rebrand & poster campaigns

Like the city itself, the largest, longest-running theatre company in Portland was on the brink of a new era. Portland Center Stage had masterminded an innovative rehabilitation of the historic Armory Building, making a new home for themselves and anchoring a blossoming neighborhood. They selected Plazm to create a new brand and messaging, directly associating PCS with its new home and heralding a renewed commitment to the city’s creative culture. Along with the rebrand, Plazm was commissioned to create two seasons of posters. Audiences experience a rollercoaster ride of emotion throughout a theatre season; for our poster series, we invited prominent local artists and illustrators to take us on a visual journey through laughter, despair, and catharsis. The company’s repertoire features comedies, musicals, traditional Shakespeare, and dramas that take on serious contemporary issues.

Keywords: Portland Center Stage, Community Engagement, Content, Digital, Entertainment

The Gerding Theater at the Armory was the first historic rehabilitation on the National Historic Register, and the first performing arts venue to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Platinum rating. The new logo celebrated the sense of place, history, and renewal exemplified by the city’s longest-running professional theatre company. Incorporating the building into the mark not only celebrated the place, but it was a way to educate audiences about the new location.
Rebranding does not simply mean designing a new logo. For many clients, it is a time of soul-searching or even upheaval—an ultimately rewarding process. We help organizations identify and express their true values, and integrate them fully with the new brand’s strategies, aesthetics, and internal culture. While moving into its impressive new building, the PCS leadership needed to articulate its artistic goals, reignite its role in the community, and engage internal dialogue about the company’s next phase. We helped them verbalize their hopes, dreams, and ideals. Then Plazm editor Tiffany Lee Brown, a former theatre maverick, penned a radical manifesto for the new PCS. We produced it in the form of a 144-inch long scroll, which the company’s director could dramatically unroll with a flick of the wrist, entirely covering a large conference table. It got the point across, and later, the manifesto was hung from the second floor balcony in the entrance of the new building.