• Transform magazine
  • June 22, 2024

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Monkey Baa Theatre Company undergoes invigorating brand update

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The Sydney-based company, which aims to empower young people through theatre and creative experiences, turned to Universal Favourite to design a brand rich in emotion and character. By altering the visual and verbal identity, the design studio hopes Monkey Baa will now resonate with both young and old people.

The relatively complex rebrand required Universal Favourite to keep a number of things in mind. In exploring the fun and creativity at the core of the brand, the studio’s work needed to express the brand positioning of the power of imagination as well as speaking to a wide audience age range (from children as young as five to caregivers and decision-makers).

In order to tackle this problem, Universal Favourite opted appropriately to immerse itself in Australian children’s literature and characters. From that stemmed the creative idea ‘at every stage’, which references both Monkey Baa’s stage shows and its ability to engage people at all stages of their life and development.

The revised visual system took inspiration from the likes of Saul Bass and Paul Rand – designers whose work helped contribute to the rich, magical and timeless aesthetic of children’s literature.

Hoping to reflect Monkey Baa’s unlimited imagination, this is partially achieved by the introduction of Sebenta in the new wordmark. The slab-serif font is similar to a style seen in children’s books and aims to create a grounded yet lively mark. Furthermore, pairing it with Gellix for headlines and body copy adds to its legibility while retaining character.

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Paper-cut style shapes have also been utilised by Universal Favourite to create a suit of simple, playful and expressive brand characters. The ownable assets, which have the ability to easily change and evolve over time, can also be moulded into a more sophisticated, teen-appropriate visual language.

In order to craft a tone of voice which could simultaneously speak to its younger and older audiences, the studio worked with copywriter Cat Wall. The studio believes this has resulted in a charming and warm brand language which is highly flexible.

Kevin du Preez, executive director at Monkey Baa, says, “After 25 years it was time for a little makeover! We are thrilled with the result… UF has created a brand that sums Monkey Baa up perfectly. We can’t wait to take this brilliant concept and run with it over the coming years!”