A group of people in theatrical costume stand together in this production still from The Winter's Tale.

Production still from The Winter’s Tale. Photo: Dahlia Katz.

In 2019 Acme was commissioned to design a new visual identity for critically-acclaimed outdoor Shakespeare company Shakespeare in the Ruff. Using Shakespeare as a foundation, RUFF re-interprets, re-writes, and re-news classic stories for a contemporary audience—RUFF pushes the boundaries of what is possible in outdoor theatre.

Formula for Shakespeare in the Ruff visual identity: Shakespeare in the Ruff plus the park plus the letterform R

The new identity combines bold letterforms with a graphic concept drawn from the idea of the “RUFF” as the space in which the company works—both theatre in the park and the public commons. Whenever branding is desired and space and context allow, the four letterforms in “RUFF” occupy the corners of Shakespeare in the Ruff materials. The letters form an enclosure—a framing device—in which the content sits. This frame is the core logo for the company.

Three boxes in different aspect ratios with the four letters of "ruff" in the four corners of each rectangle.
Shakespeare in the Ruff

Below are examples of the RUFF corner logo in application for different social media assets, adapting to the various dimensions and aspect ratios—sometimes omitting the logo entirely where space makes the treatment awkward or it will appear beside an avatar.

A grid of examples of The Winter's Tale creative in application for different social media channels

In applications where the RUFF corner logo will not work either because of the format, layout restrictions, or context—such as logo bars—there is an alternate wordmark:

Shakespeare in the Ruff wordmark

The primary colour palette is red and blue. These primary colours may be blended into a gradient, suggestive of a setting sun and the transition from day to night at dusk. Campaign creative artwork does not have to be restricted to these colours, but can play with shades and hues as the themes of the current production suggest.

Diagram of the Shakespeare in the Ruff colour palette — blue and red

The background of social media avatars can be a solid colour, a gradient, or an image.

Shakespeare in the Ruff avatars for social media: "RUFF" in a circle.
Shakespeare in the Ruff business cards
Shakespeare in the Ruff letterhead
Shakespeare in the Ruff sandwich board
Shakespeare in the Ruff t-shirt