Jake Fruend
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Raven Theatre

In the summer of 2017, I became the full-time Marketing Manager & Graphic Designer at Raven Theatre, a nonprofit performing arts organization in Edgewater. At the time (so very long ago), Raven was a 35 year-old neighborhood theatre with no discernible brand identity or marketing plan, whose founding Artistic Directors had just announced their retirement.

I was brought on to provide a much-needed facelift to the company’s brand and marketing campaigns, as well as unify the multiple arms of the organization (productions, summer camps, and special events).

Raven is one of the few theatres (in a city of 300+ companies) that utilizes a negative space logo.

Raven is one of the few theatres (in a city of 300+ companies) that utilizes a negative space logo.

In our rebranding, the bird cutout became the frame of each poster, so that the “raven” is transformed by whatever occupies it. The same could be said for our stage!

Raven is primarily known for producing American classics and period-specific family dramas.

Raven is primarily known for producing American classics and period-specific family dramas.

The final two productions of our 2017/2018 Season were a play about the early life of Tennessee Williams (The Gentleman Caller) and a classic thriller (Suddenly Last Summer) by the man himself. I was instructed to unify the visuals as much as possible, so I based the designs on hand-painted midcentury movie posters.

For each production, I create individual character portraits.

For each production, I create individual character portraits.

It’s a great way to slowly introduce the world of the play while featuring actors and snippets of text. Here are two examples…

Most of the artwork begins with photography by my friend and partner, Christopher Semel

Most of the artwork begins with photography by my friend and partner, Christopher Semel

The Gentleman Caller portraits were painted over to resemble a vintage centerfold advertisement, while the Suddenly Last Summer portraits were based on old psychological horror film posters.

Of course, my work requires a lot more than pretty poster design.

Of course, my work requires a lot more than pretty poster design.

Here’s a peek at some of the promotional literature I’ve made for our subscription season and summer camps.

There's a lot more to see!

There's a lot more to see!

You can view more Raven artwork on my Wall Paper page, or by visiting Raven’s website.