16 Years of New York Theatre Posters by Paula Scher of Pentagram

Since 1994, Paula Scher has been designing very distictive posters for New York's annual Shakespeare in the Park events by The Public Theatre.  In an interview with HillmanCurtis, she describes how "The Public Theatre identity is based on being extremely loud and visible and urban."  It it due to her unique typographic style that Paula Scher is credited with creating "The first American Shakespeare poster."   A European designer once told her that  "All other Shakespeare posters were really European, until I did Shakespeare in the Park with The Public Theatre language, because they were loud and they were about words."

Featured Above: Paula Scher's most recent work under Pentagram, for New York's Shakespeare in the Park 2010.

Here's the poster for the 2008 Shakespeare in the Park, under the New York Public Theater.

Poster for Shakespeare in the Park 2000, featuring a production of Julius Caesar.

1999 Poster.

1995 Poster

1998 Poster.

This is Paula Scher's first Shakespeare in the Park poster from 1994.

1996 Poster, for a production of Henry V.

Paula Scher's notorious poster for the NY Public Theater, for the production of "Bring in 'Da noise, Bring in 'Da Funk"

"When the Noise-Funk series came out and the play first opened at The Public in 96.  From 1996-1999 there were a series of a pile of them around the street.  They were designed out of The Public Theater typographic language combined with various photographs of Sadie McGlover.  The musical is a tap-rap musical, so the typography was designed to make it look like it made noise.  They were everywhere, they were in the subways, on the rooftops, on the sides of buildings.  And what happened was it became this style, so the identity of this small theater became a popularized style. So New York City ate the identity of The Public Theatre in a way."

Paula Scher's famous Ballet Tech posters.

Paula Scher on TED Talks: "Design Is Serious (Not Solemn)"

Interview: Paula Scher -- The Geography of Design

"I operate really strongly on my instincts.  If I don't get it on the first crack, I get it on the second.  And if I don't get it in a second, I almost never get it.  Because it's been a very intuitive process for me: I've never been a refiner; my best work has been big bold strokes that came very quickly."
- Paula Scher

The Pentagram Blog
Original Post on the Pentagram Blog: New Work: Shakespeare in the Park 2010
Original Post on the Pentagram Blog: New Work: The Public Theater
Interview with Paula Scher by HillmanCurtis


Unknown said...

Such amazing work! Great use of typography, colour and space. Glad that he is still at it.

jen said...

Paula is a She. Geez.