Underline Studio’s exuberant identity for theatre agency TO Live champions a variety of voices
Toronto-based design studio Underline have stayed local in their comprehensive identity for TO Live; a city-wide agency that operates three primary civic theatres. With the spaces themselves becoming hubs for diverse voices and new ideas, it was this progression, community and variety of artistic expression that drove the resulting visual identity – led by the notion of ‘Making Space.’
Adopting stark Swiss graphic principles and playfully applying them through a theatrical lens, the resulting identity is an exuberant expression of type and tension; balancing, repeating and extenuating the idea of ‘Making Space’ to create a palpable and own-able graphic language. Typographically leading the identity is the contrasting pair of Klim Type Foundry’s National Condensed and Untitled Serif. “We knew we needed a typeface that had an approachable personality but that it was also beautifully built,” Co-founder Fidel Peña tells us, noting National Condensed’s perfect qualifications.
“TO Live hosts an extraordinary range of live performances,” Peña adds, ranging from experimental to commercial, and everything in between. “Hence, National Condensed needed to be paired with a more serious typeface to balance its personality,” he remarks, opting for Untitled Serif to complement but not overpower its counterpart. Further expressing the variety of performances, and the diversity of voices, Underline implemented TO Live’s dot; a graphic device used to represent as such. “When the dot in the ‘i’ jumps and then expands into a symbol,” Peña concludes, “it communicates what they do and who they are.”