This year, HeronBridge College staged Hairspray as their annual major drama production.
As in previous years, I was asked to create a logo to be used on the programme, t-shirts and posters.
We were reluctant to use any of the designs used on Broadway or for the movie for although we had the rights to stage the production, we did not have rights to use their designs. Copyright issues aside, why not just have some fun?
And have fun I did. Starting with the swirling typographic representation of the word in a two colour design for printing on the t-shirts and moving on to add in all the extra twiddles and twirls for the poster and programmes. Posters were printed, encapsulated and posted up around the college. The design met with so much enthusiasm, it went viral around the school community within a day of appearing, being used as wallpaper on smartphones and profile pics on social media.
Any social media guru could not have done a better job of publicizing an event, than a cast of excited kids. All shows sold out in record time.
This enthusiasm spread to the performances and the show has been slated the best ever production put on by the school. One of my favourite moments (and there were many) was when a friend of my daughter’s who attends another school, asked me at interval if the performers were lip syncing the songs. My first reaction was, “Hey, we’re not Milli Vanilli” but then realised that in weird way it was a huge compliment – our performers had vocal talent that sounded like an original cast recording!
The show was reprised a month later for one special performance for students from a less-advantaged school. I was tempted to sneak in the back door to watch, just to get one last fix of the energy, enthusiasm and exuberance of this production, but I behaved myself. By all reports, it was a success and provided much needed closure for a cast that was ready to take on Broadway, the West End and all points in between.